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I am advised by the City Counselor that the city can not legally draw money from the water fund for municipal purposes, but even if it could be done legally I doubt seriously whether it would be good policy to do so, believing that the water fund, if found to be larger than is necessary for the efficient management and extension of the Waterworks, should be used for the reduction of water rates.
It seems to me, therefore, that the only course left is to find some means of getting out of the municipal revenue the money necessary to place the new City Hall under roof.
There are certain fixed charges against the municipal revenue which must be met. There are other charges and expenses which are more or less elastic in their nature. The appropriations for the latter can be reduced without serious damage or inconvenience, and it will probably be found that nearly as efficient work can be done in these departments with a reduced appropriation, by the exercise of economy and prudent oversight. In any event, I am strongly of the opinion that the appropriations for these departments should be reduced sufficiently to provide the necessary funds for the execution of the contracts now pending for work on the City Hall. The worst that could result from this would be a slight temporary inconvenience to a few, while a cessation of work at this time, I believe, would be a serious detriment not only to the building, but to the credit of St. Louis, from which all of our citizens would suffer. I have the honor to be,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS,
FOR FISCAL YEAR 1892-93.
SUBMITTED TO THE MUNICIPAL ASSEMBLY.