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already been increased $35,000, and we have asked for another $50.000, but on account of the fact that that crossing is the most dangerous grade crossing still existing in the District of Columbia, it was my opinion that we ought to submit a deficiency estimate to the committee, with a statement of the danger, and leave it to your judgment.
Gen. KNIGHT. By personal inspection I fully agree with the idea of the danger of that crossing to the community.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar with it?
Gen. KNIGHT. I have been there. I was there yesterday and looked over it.
Mr. SHERLEY. Has any work been done on this at all?
Gen. KNIGHT. None at all, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you taken any steps to inquire into the cost? You seem to have some doubt in your own mind as to whether it ought to cost this much?
Gen. KNIGHT. There have been plans made, estimates of cost and bids have been asked for twice, and once there was this additional appropriation made, in addition to the original appropriation, the bids having been rejected as in excess of the appropriation. Now, an additional amount is asked and it is supposed, or it is hoped, that the addition asked for will enable the contract to be carried out.
Mr. SHERLEY. I understand that, but that is just the whole point of the matter. It was suggested by Mr. Brownlow that he and Col. Kutz had doubts as to whether a bridge that had been estimated to cost so much should be built at the cost now figured on.
Mr. BROWNLOW. No; I think you misunderstood me. I said I have some doubt as to the wisdom of the expenditure when the cost had increased, and we have no doubt about the fact that the cost las increased. You see, the additional $35,000 was not available until the passage of the deficiency act of April 16, 1917. Bids have been solicited since that time. so that this is the ascertained estimate of what we could get the bridge built for at this time. However, I say that a legislative question, a question of policy, is involved as to whether or not we should build the viaduct at a time when materials and labor are so very high, and if it were not for the danger at this grade crossing I would suggest that the whole matter go over, but because it is a very dangerous grade crossing we decided to send in an estimate for a deficiency.
Mr. SHERLEY. Have you made an estimate of what it should cost or are you basing what it should cost upon what the bids are that have been submitted?
Gen. KNIGHT. I understand that it is based on actual bids for the cost of the work.
Mr. SHERLEY. I understand, but what I am trying to find out is whether you have ever made an estimate to see whether those bids represent anything like what it ought to cost?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Mr. McComb did go over the bids and did make an estimate, and he found that the bids were reasonable.
Mr. SHERLEY. Do you ever do any of this work yourselves?
Mr. BROWNLOW. We are not permitted to do it if it costs more than $1,000.
Mr. SHERLEY: Could you do it for less than this sum?
Gen. KNIGHT. I think it is almost impracticable, Mr. Sherley, at present to make an estimate based upon the cost of labor and materials at any future time. You have bids submitted by persons who are actually doing construction work, which contain their ideas of the cost. To meet that we need this amount in addition to the appropriation, and those men, I think, are better prepared to consider the possible changes in the market than we are, or anybody else, because it is their business to do it.
Mr. CANNON. Mr. McComb went over these bids and considered them reasonable?
Mr. GARGES. Mr. McComb did, the engineer of bridges.
PLAYGROUNDS, ADDITIONAL SWIMMING POOLS.
The CHAIRMAN. The next item is: "For the construction of two swimming pools, shower baths, appurtenances, and equipment on sites to be selected by the commissioners, the appropriation contained in the District of Columbia appropriation act for the fiscal year 1917 is continued available until the end of the fiscal year 1918, with the additional sum of $5,000."
Gen. KNIGHT. That is the case of the bids received not coming within the limit of the appropriation, and there is no reasonable way of modifying the size of the pools in order to diminish the cost or to bring the cost within the appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. Where are these pools to be located?
Mr. BROWNLOW. The law said that they were to be selected by the commissioners, and the sites were actually selected, one for colored people at the Cordoza School, in southwest Washington, and one for white people in the Piney Branch Valley, not far from the Sixteenth Street Bridge, and not far from the northern terminus of the Mount Pleasant street car line. Those were the best available places we could find owned by the District of Columbia, so that there will be no expenditures for sites. But $5,000 for each school is not enough to build the pools.
The CHAIRMAN. What will be the capacity of these pools?
Gen. KNIGHT. As I understand from Gen. Kutz, about 30 by 75, the ordinary size, and very near the size of the municipal pool. Mr. GILLETT. Are these artificial pools?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes, sir.
Mr. SHERLEY. Supplied by city water?
Gen. KNIGHT. I imagine they would have to be.
Mr. SHERLEY. What does it cost for water?
Mr. BROWNLOW. I do not know about that. We usually use water that has already been used. For instance, at the Municipal Bathing Beach we use the waste water from the White House fountains. In every possible way we try to use water that otherwise would be wasted. I am not sure about that feature with respect to these two particular pools, but the cost would not be very great if the pools are filled, say, twice a day.
The CHAIRMAN. And this $5,000 is required
Gen. KNIGHT. To complete the construction of the two pools.
Gen. KNIGHT. They range from $13,000 to $17,000. Taking the lowest bid of $13,000, that leaves only about $1,300 for the supervision of the work and the incidental expenses.
HEATING AND VENTILATING E. V. BROWN SCHOOL.
The CHAIRMAN. "Public schools: For additional amount for installing heating and ventilating plant in the Elizabeth V. Brown (Chevy Chase) School, $15,000.”
Gen. KNIGHT. There are several items involved in that, Mr. Chairman, but the main thing is that plans have been made to include a system of direct heating which could be used instead of the fan or Plenum system. There is no change of air so thorough by the direct heating system as there is by the fan system, which is continually forcing a change by either drawing in or forcing out the air. Now, that direct system can be installed for $5,000, which, with the bid made, will bring the cost of the building contract within the appropriation, but the commission does not recommend the use of such a heating system. It is contrary, I think, to the modern work of school construction. Certainly at my little place of Summit we would not think of using it.
The CHAIRMAN. You got $80,000 for an eight-room addition; did that include the heating and ventilation systems?
Gen. KNIGHT. Now, I will give you the full statement. The bid of the construction company is $10,000 less than the next bidder. The lowest heating bid is $19,589, and from that certain deductions can be made reducing it to $16,500. The building bid may be reduced by using concrete in one place instead of granite by $300, but the total excess over appropriation available on the basis of the lowest combined bids for all the different items is $11,280.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean by that that an eight-room addition to a school would cost $95,000?
Gen. KNIGHT. That would be the addition for these rooms. There is another item of a library, which would take about $2,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, that could not be paid out of this appropriation.
Gen. KNIGHT. No; that would have to be paid out of the addition, if granted. The municipal architect was convinced that the district will never get again as advantageous a figure as this bid for the construction of this school. The action of the commissioners was to recommend that the addition be granted.
The CHAIRMAN. Which system of heating was used in preparing the estimates upon which the appropriation was made?
Mr. BROWNLOW. The Plenum system-the forced-draft system. The CHAIRMAN. Which system is that?
Mr. BROWNLOW. The one we would put in if we got the additional $15.000. The estimates were made under the Plenum system, but the estimate was cut by the Appropriations Committee, and also the prices of materials have gone up. This $15,000 will permit the installation of a modern ventilating system in the entire building. The CHAIRMAN. You have no authority to do that.
Mr. BROWNLOW. We have got it in the old part.
The CHAIRMAN. You asked for $80,000 and Congress appropriated it and did not reduce the amount estimated.
Mr. BROWNLOW. I beg your pardon, it is the next school item where the appropriation was cut by the committee. This is altogether due then to the increased price of materials.
FOUR-ROOM ADDITION TO BURVILLE SCHOOL.
The CHAIRMAN. "For an additional amount for the construction of a four-room addition to the Burrville School, $12.000."
Gen. KNIGHT. The lowest bid for the work is over the total amount available by $1,160.
The CHAIRMAN. Is this a two-story addition?
Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. This would make a total of $52,000 for a twostory building with two rooms on each floor. Does not that seem to be a great deal?
Mr. BROWNLOW. The change in that is in order to make it fireproof. The original estimate was based on a fire-resistant and not a fireproof building, and in order to make the construction fireproof, $12.000 additional will be required.
Gen. KNIGHT. The architect asked for an increase of $15,000, which the board of commissioners cut down to $12,000.
MAINTENANCE OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
Mr. BROWNLOW. The next is for the maintenance of motor vehicles, $2.000. You may cut that out, because that was an anticipated deficiency which fortunately did not develop.
REPAIRS TO BUILDING FORMERLY OCCUPIED AS EMERGENCY HOSPITAL.
Congress appropriated $4,000 for repairs and alterations to the building formerly occupied as an emergency hospital, to be used as a laboratory and for such other necessary purposes as may be required. The Treasury Department, on account of the war, took the Emergency Hospital and did not give us permission to use it.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you spend any money on it?
Mr. BROWNLOW. No; we did not. Now we ask that it may be made available for such other public or private building as we can use for this purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. You add the language" and for such other necessary purposes as may be required by the health department."
Mr. BROWNLOW. That is because if we did put it in a private building we wanted to combine that with the tubercular and venereal disease dispensaries which are authorized by Congress, and we think we may be able to get a building for no higher rental charge than is necessary to pay for the tubercular and venereal disease dispensaries, and that will get upstairs rooms that we can use for laboratories if we have the money to equip them with the necessary plumbing. We would not pay any more rent than we will pay in any event for the tuberculosis and venereal disease dispensaries; but because the private dwelling we would rent for this purpose would not have the necessary plumbing to enable it to be used for a laboratory, we would have to have some fund with which to equip it for that pur pose. It would not entail a greater expenditure on account of rent,
and if it is possible to get some Government building which could be used for our purposes there would not be any rent at all.
Mr. GILLETT. You have not any particular building in view, then? Mr. BROWNLOW. I have one in view. I do not know whether we can get it. It is a building we can rent for $75 a month. It will be large enough for all three purposes.
Mr. CANNON. Let me understand about that. Do I understand you to say the Treasury Department seized this Emergency Hospital? Mr. BROWNLOW. The Emergency Hospital was abandoned, and the old building stood on land owned by the Government and in the control of the Treasury Department-six blocks lying along Fifteenth Street and running from Pennsylvania Avenue to B Street and between Fifteenth and Fourteenth Streets. The Treasury Department took that building and is using it for handling the correspondence in connection with the liberty loan. It was under the control of the Treasury Department, and the law which authorized us to use it made our use of it subject to the consent of the Secretary of the Treasury. He withheld his consent, and therefore none of the $4,000 was ever used.
Mr. CANNON. Are there not any number of cther buildings down in that same Government reservation?
Mr. BROWNLOW. We hope to get one of them if we get the money, but this $4,000 appropriation applied specifically to that particular building.
Mr. CANNON. And they have taken that building for another use? Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes. We hope if we get this $4,000 to find another building that the Secretary of the Treasury will permit us
Mr. CANNON. You refer to that large number of buildings between the Washington Monument and Pennsylvania Avenue? Mr. BROWNLOW. Yes.
Mr. CANNON. I am very glad they are using even one of the buildings down there.
Mr. BROWNLOW. Of course, this does not ask for any new appropriation and it merely extends the authority contained in the appropriation in the current act.
PAYMENT TO JUDGES OF MUNICIPAL COURT FOR ACTING AS JUDGE of
For salaries for 1916, $30, and for 1917, $120. These amounts are required to pay for services as acting judge of the juvenile court during the absence of the judge of the court.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Commissioner, who sits for the juvenile court judge?
Mr. BROWNLOW. One of the judges of the municipal court.
The CHAIRMAN. What provision is there that he should get this compensation? How is anything paid to a municipal court judge in the place of the juvenile court judge?
Mr. BROWNLOW. I am informed by Mr. Donovan and Mr. Tweedale that this was tested out in the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, and the court of appeals decided that these judges were entitled to this additional compensation. The commissioners decided they were not, and a judge took it to the courts, and the courts decided that they were.