VERDE HERITAGE 1938: Rural Sanitation Project Closing

The Community Sanitation Program came into existence as one of many work relief projects during December of 1933.

"The purpose of this program was to eliminate hundreds of old, unsightly, filthy, fly-infested 'typhoid temples' that were very much in evidence along the roads and highways throughout rural areas and near towns. The plan was to improve the view for travelers and tourists and improve the health of the residents. The approved standard type of sanitary privy was built to prevent surface drainage and exclude flies, small animals and rodents from the pits or vaults. Property owners paid for the cost of materials and the cost of labor was provided by the government program."

"According to the Arizona Board of Health, the Community Sanitation Program came into existence as one of many work relief projects during December of 1933, at the beginning of the Civil Works Administration (C.W.A.). This program started in Arizona during 1935. From January to September, 318 sanitary privies were built with relief labor under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (F.E.R.A.)."

"The project was submitted to the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.), then was approved during November. The program was directed from the central offices of the Arizona Board of Health. Within two and a half months, 1,012 sanitary privies had been built. A total of 359 W.P.A. security wage workers were employed on this project with 20 canvassers who had visited 1,140 homes and received orders for 190 sanitary privies by February 15, 1936."

"An estimated $76,492.26 ($54,648.62 for labor and $21,843.64 for materials purchased by property owners) was spent in Arizona by March 1, 1936. Continuing at this rate, the Community Sanitary Program would result in half a million dollars added to the economy of Arizona. In Yavapai County, a total of $7,100 had been spent by March 1, 1936."

"The Community Sanitation Program gave Arizona residents the opportunity to eliminate unsanitary conditions. Irrigation canals were lined with privies and the resulting polluted water was used for washing vegetables, etc. People were swimming in this water during the summer. All public health officers, school employees, and civic clubs were urged to use their influence to promote better sanitation and the construction of sanitary privies."

(Prescott Evening Courier; March 20, 1936; The Verde Independent; 2014.)

1938: "RURAL SANITARY PROJECT CLOSING"

"Residents of rural areas who are desirous of taking advantage of the Community Sanitation Project should do so immediately, it is advised. Much progress has been made both on the Verde side as well as the Prescott side in this important matter. Since July, 1938, 109 sanitary toilets have been erected. This project has been in operation in Yavapai County for 3 years, according to Ray Gosney, supervisor. He has now received orders to go to Globe to continue the project in Gila County."

"Those wishing to co-operate with the government in the building of sanitary toilets can leave their orders at any of the lumber companies in the county or with the O. R. Haining saw mill in Miller Valley. The crews under the W.P.A, will furnish labor and those wishing these sanitary facilities can have the same by merely purchasing the material, which averages $18 or $19."

"While Gosney will be transferred and has received orders to close the Yavapai project within 60 days, the work may be continued here if sufficient interest is shown by those who should take advantage of this liberal co-operation on the part of the government."

(Prescott Evening Courier, Monday, December 5, 1938; page 2.)

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