« PreviousContinue »
Assessor needs $199; the Inspector of Buildings needs $400; the Corporation Counsel needs $1,200 for legal forms for use in the various courts; the Health Department, over $1,000 for forms required in the work of that Department, and so on down the list. I have here a list of forms required at the present time which justifies an additional appropriation of at least $5,000. As a matter of fact, this will be less than we ought to have, but we will have to get through with $5,000. The $5,000 added to the $43,000 already appropriated for this year represents the amount recommended for next year and the amount approved by the Bureau of the Budget. That is, the amount approved by the Budget Bureau for next year is $48,000 instead of $43,000. We proved our need to them, and we are trying to prove the same thing to you.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us see about this language in reference to firefighting apparatus, where you are asking $22,000.
Mr. DONOVAN. That is necessary by reason of the inadequacy of the appropriation to carry out the purposes for which the appropriation was provided. We had an appropriation of $92,000 for the purchase of three hook-and-ledder trucks, four hose wagons, and two pumping engines. We proposed to purchase the three hook-andladder trucks for $39,000; the four hose wagons for $32,000, and the two pumping engines for $21,000. We asked for bids, and the lowest bid received was $104,000, or $12,000 more than the amount of the appropriation. The bids were rejected, and we submitted to the Bureau of the Budget an estimate for an additional $22,000 to purchase those nine pieces of fire-fighting apparatus. The Budget Bureau, instead of approving this estimate, sent up this language. They submitted language making the appropriation of $92,000 available, not for the purchase of a specific number of pieces of fire-fighting apparatus, but making it available for such additional apparatus as could be purchased within that amount.
The ChairMAN. You want us to appropriate $104,000, or the amount of the bid.
Mr. DONOVAN. The trouble is that since the $104,000 bid was submitted and rejected, the fire department has been notified by the bidder that prices have increased, so that now the $104,000 would not be sufficient. That is the reason we asked the amount of $22,000 instead of the $12,000, which is the amount of the bid in excess of the appropriation. The $22,000 is $10,000 in excess of the bid. In asking for the deficiency, we based it on an increase in cost of $10,000 since the time the bids were submitted some months ago. It is simply a question of whether or not we will get the number of pieces of apparatus that were appropriated for in the 1937 act. That apparently cannot be done with $92,000 or even $104,000.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is, do you need the apparatus?
Mr. Donovan. According to the chief engineer of the fire department, yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, the question is, do you need it before the next bill goes into effect?
Mr. DONOVAN. There are a number of replacements that go into each annual appropriation bill. The average life of fire-fighting apparatus in the District of Columbia, as I recall it, is somewhere around 17 years.
At the end of 17 years this apparatus should be replaced.
The CHAIRMAN. You wanted to purchase $92,000 worth of apparatus. What remaining apparatus was there to buy? There is no reason why any other purchases should not be made out of your appropriation.
Mr. Donovan. Yes, sir; replacements are required every year.
The CHAIRMAN. If this committee did not allow it, and the Budget did not allow it
Mr. DONOVAN (interposing). If the committee wants to do that, of course it is entirely within its authority.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; it is within our discretion. It would not disrupt the District service, would it?
Mr. DONOVAN. We would not have as many pieces of fire-fighting apparatus as we would have had.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, within 5 months.
Mr. DONOVAN. The budget for next year also carries an appropriation for the purchase of new apparatus for the replacement of some now in service.
Mr. Ludlow. How do your replacements compare with the replacement programs of other cities?
Mr. DONOVAN. I would like to answer that, but I cannot at this time. I would be glad to insert a statement in the record.
Mr. LUDLOW. It would not be a long statement?
Mr. DONOVAN. No, sir; just a statement giving the facts. My impression, and it is purely an impression, is that we run our apparatus somewhat longer than is the case in other cities.
I am advised by the Fire Department officials that the life of firefighting apparatus in the District is about the same as in other cities. The general rule appears to be to continue such apparatus in active service for 15 years and thereafter for several years as an auxiliary or reserve.
The CHAIRMAN. How long after you got this money last July was it before you asked for bids?
Mr. DONOVAN. My recollection is that the bids were not invited until probably some time in November.
The CHAIRMAN. If you had asked for them earlier you might have gotten the apparatus within the appropriation.
Mr. DONOVAN. I doubt it.
Mr. DONOVAN. We could cheapen the apparatus and get it within this amount of money.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, you should get good apparatus.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 1937.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AIRPORT COMMISSION
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM H. KING, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF UTAH, CHAIRMAN, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AIRPORT COMMISSION
The CHAIRMAN. At the last session Congress passed an act authorizing the appointment of a commission to locate an airport for the District of Columbia, and authorizing an appropriation of $10,000; and then, for some reason or other, the appropriation was not made.
We have before us an item in House Document No. 105 providing for an appropriation of $10,000 for carrying out the purposes of the act I have referred to.
Senator King, the chairman of the Airport Commission, is here, and we will be glad to hear him in reference to this item.
Senator KING. Mr. Chairman, I will be very brief, and thank you for the courtesy extended in permitting me to appear this afternoon.
As stated by the chairman, a bill was passed on April 21, 1936, creating an airport commission charged with the duty of selecting a site for a suitable airport for the District of Columbia.
For a number of years various organizations in the District of Columbia have been urging that a commercial airport be established, and both branches of Congress have appointed committees from time to time for the purpose of selecting a suitable site upon which to construct an airport that would meet not only the present needs of the District of Columbia but its needs for a long period of time. There were differences of opinion, and the investigations made did not secure congressional approval or result in the selection of a site for the building of a commercial airport. In some of the hearings it was indicated that the existing commercial airport is inadequate and possesses hazards which would not justify its selection as a commercial airport by the District of Columbia or the Government.
I should add that recommendations were made by one or more committees in favor of Gravelly Point, as a suitable site, but objections have been made to such recommendations.
At the last session of Congress a number of measures were introduced in both Houses of Congress calling for the establishment of a suitable airport. Neither of them was enacted into law, but a measure was passed providing for a commission to make an investigation and select a suitable site. The commission was to consist of nine personsthree to be appointed by the President, three by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and three by the Vice President of the Senate. The appointments were made, and the commission has had a number of meetings since the adjournment of Congress and has been trying to carry out the terms of the act under which they were appointed.
The act provides that the Commission shallgather all available data concerning potential sites for a commercial airport, and shall select a site with due regard to the cost of its acquisition and development, its safety, and its adaptability to the requirements of commercial aviation and national defense.
I happened to be selected as chairman of the Commission, and at its first meeting a subcommittee was appointed, consisting of Gen. Oscar Westover, the Chief of the Air Service of the Army; Congressman Jack Nichols; and Col. Daniel I. Sultan, the latter being a member of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia.
The act creating the Commission carries an authorization of $10,000, and it was understood that that amount was to be carried in one of the deficiency appropriation bills before adjournment. It was recommended, as I am advised, by the Bureau of the Budget; but for some reason, in the closing hours of the session of Congress, it was inadvertently omitted from the deficiency bill. The subcommittee, as well as the full committee, have been functioning since adjournment, and have incurred some expenses for witnesses, experts, and stenographic services.
I am appearing at the request of the Commission to ask that the item of $10,000 be included in the deficiency bill which is now under consideration by this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, the law itself under which you are acting provides that the location of the site selected shall be kept secret.
Senator King. Absolutely.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not know how much expense you have incurred?
Senator King. I do not think it will exceed $500, because some of the witnesses made no charge.
The CHAIRMAN. You will not spend more than you have to.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 1937.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OFFICE OF THE CLERK
STATEMENT OF J. C. SHANKS, DISBURSING CLERK
CONTINGENT EXPENSES, TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE SERVICE, 1936
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Shanks, I see we have an estimate in House Document No. 127 of $7,500 for telegraph and telephone service for the House of Representatives.
Mr. SHANKS. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We have an actual deficiency in the amount of $6,298.88. We submitted an estimate of $7,500, allowing a little margin in case additional pick-ups should come in.
The CHAIRMAN. How much did you have for 1936?
Mr. SHANKS. For the fiscal year 1936 we had $90,000 appropriated. We have a balance of $1.61 on hand. These are actual vouchers audited and approved by the Committee on Accounts for payment, and we have no money to pay them.
The CHAIRMAN. And how many new bills do you have on hand?
Mr. SHANKS. No, sir; in the last session up to April, May, and June 1936. These are pick-up bills which came in finally to us in the last 2 or 3 months, and we had no money to pay the bills.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know when those pick-ups come in? Mr. SHANKS. We do not. They come in from 6 to 8 months late. We put in the estimate at $7,500 in order to have a little margin in case any new pick-up bills should come through.
The CHAIRMAN. What will pay the telegraph and telephone expenses to the end of this fiscal year?
Mr. SHANKS. This amount that we are asking for here is for the fiscal year 1936.
The CHAIRMAN. These are back bills?
Mr. SHANKS. Yes, sir. We have expended only about $25,000 so far this fiscal year, and we are not asking for any more money for this year.
The CHAIRMAN. I imagine you have enough on hand for us to take this $7,500 out of that. How about that?
Mr. Shanks. If authorized we could pay it at the present time and then possibly run into a deficiency in 1937; because the bills have been running over $90,000 for the last several years. To give you an example, for the fiscal year 1935 we received $105,000-$90,000 plus a $15,000 deficiency-and we expended $92,549, which left a balance on hand of $12,451; but there are some bills pending in the Committee on Accounts which have not been certified, which may total several thousand dollars. But we have sufficient funds to meet those bills if Mr. Warren approves them.
Our telephone bill has really increased about a thousand dollars a month in the last 2 years. Our telegraph bill has decreased about four or five thousand a year. We used to run roughly on the $90,000 basis, about one-third for telephone and two-thirds for telegraph.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the cause of the increase in the telephone bill?
Mr. SHANKS. Increased business. We increased the employees at the switchboard by three in this past year.
Mr. LUDLOW. Is the decrease in telegrams due to some rather interesting and drastic regulations?
Mr. SHANKS. Absolutely. The Committee Accounts has changed their method. Heretofore they used to pay the bills and then bill the Member for personal telegrams. They have discontinued that practice and are eliminating the personal charges from the telegraph bîlls, making the telegraph company collect the personal bills themselves. We are running now, roughly, about $55,000 for telegrams and $50,000 for telephone service each fiscal year.
The Public Utilities Commission has reduced the rate on interdepartmental calls to 1 cent. We were paying a cent and a quarter, and they reduced the rate last September.