The Government of Metropolitan Areas in the United States

By Paul Studenski; Frank H. Sommer et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
INTERMUNICIPAL ARRANGEMENTS
Three plans have been advanced by those who believe that a metropolitan organization can be effected simply.First, the suggestion has been made that legislation be enacted under which the communities in the metropolitan area may agree to coöperate in matters of common concern and pool their resources to that end, and that failing agreement, the state compel action.Again, it has been suggested that such organization can be effected, at least in so far as essential services are concerned, by the simple device of inducing, or compelling if necessary, the main or central city to supply these services to other communities in the metropolitan area at a reasonable price.Finally, the proposition has been advanced that a statute giving the city jurisdiction over those functions outside the city limits which vitally affect the welfare of the city would suffice.None of these three plans would effect any fundamental change in the structure of the government of the territory. They may be summarized thus:
1. Intermunicipal coöperation, i.e., joint undertakings or exchange of services between two or more municipalities.
2. Intermunicipal arrangements by which one municipality-- usually the main city--undertakes to furnish specified services to other communities in the area.
3. Extraterritorial activity by the city in matters which vitally affect its welfare.
4. Each suggestion has been tried in actual practice. In some instances the arrangement was voluntarily entered into under state sanction; in others it was compelled by state action.

Joint Construction of Bridges

The outstanding instance of inter-city activity is the Brooklyn Bridge. The construction of this bridge was begun as a private enterprise. In 1867, under the leadership of Roebling, a number of leading citizens of New York and Brooklyn secured the passage of an act granting them a charter creating the East River Bridge Company, empowered to build a bridge and to charge tolls. The cities were permitted by two-thirds vote of their respective councils to subscribe to the stock of the company and

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