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Mr. Donovan. Because, Mr. Chairman, we will not be able to get through the fiscal year with our present appropriation of $12,500, which was a reduction of $2,500 over the appropriation made for a similar purpose for the three previous fiscal years. Our expenditures for postage for the first seven months have averaged about $1,275 a month; on that basis for four months, March, April, May, and June, we would need approximately $5,000. We have a balance of about $2,300 and we are only asking for $1,500 additional, which is $1,000 less than we have been getting for the past three or four years. The volume of mail matter we have to handle is growing rather than decreasing.
The CHAIRMAN. You are not really asking for any more than you have had—is that right?
Mr. DONOVAN. We are asking $1,000 less than we have had for several years past; even with this deficiency of $1,500 we will still be $1,000 under the previous appropriations.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1922.
RECORDER OF DEEDS,
STATEMENT OF MR. JOHN F. COSTELLO, RECORDER.
PURCHASE OF BOOK TYPEWRITER MACHINES.
The CHAIRMAN. “ The recorder of deeds of the District of Columbia is authorized to purchase book typewriter machines or parts thereof to an amount not exceeding $6,549: Provided however, That not to exceed $5,872.20 of the purchase price shall be paid from the fees and emoluments of his office, and that he shall exchange, as the balance of the purchase price old book typewriter machines of the value of not less than $676.80.” What do you want this money for?
Mr. COSTELLO. For new machines.
Mr. COSTELLO. We should have had them six months ago, because the machines we have are getting in very poor condition and getting worse from day to day.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your appropriation for 1923?
Mr. COSTELLO. There is no appropriation for our office, except the item of rent. The office itself is self-sustaining.
The Chairman. Why do you come to us!
Mr. COSTELLO. I come to you, Mr. Chairman, to ask for the authorization of Congress to spend the money that we have on hand for these new machines.
The CHAIRMAN. If the office is self-sustaining, have you not the authority?
Mr. COSTELLO. No, sir; we lack the authority. The authority is
The CHAIRMAN. How long has it been since you purchased machines?
Mr. COSTELLO. As near as I can recollect it is between four and five years, four years and six months.
The CHAIRMAN. How many machines are there?
The CHAIRMAN. Those are the machines that set on the record books?
Mr. COSTELLO. Yes, sir; very large machines.
Mr. COSTELLO. No, sir. We are not getting altogether new machines. For instance, I am asking for 24 new Elliott-Fisher machines, model T-12, and then I am asking, in addition to that, for 5 new machines complete, because the work of the office has grown so and is so heavy that we are now nearly six months in turning a record back to the public. With five more machines we can put on five more typists.
Mr. BYRNS. It is six months before you register a deed ?
Mr. COSTELLO. Very nearly six months. It will be almost six months before we can return your deed as being recorded in our office-between five and six months.
The CHAIRMAN. How much available money have you on hand?
Mr. COSTELLO. No; it is deposited to the account of the recorder of deeds in a national bank.
Mr. Woon. When is it covered into the Treasury?
Mr. COSTELLO. The first day after the 1st of July each year, whatever balance we might have.
The ('ITAIRMAN. You pay all of your expenses out of the receipts?
Mr. COSTELLO. All except the item of rent. That has only occurred in the last two years because prior to that time we were in the courthouse, up to the time that it was remodeled.
Mr. Wood. Why did you not go back into the courthouse?
Mr. COSTELLO. As I understood, that is what Mr. Sisson said of the subcommittee that made the appropriation, that the reason for granting the money was upon the recommendation of the justices, Mr. Covington was chief justice at that time, on account of the extreme value of the real estate records, that was one of the principal reasons given why the appropriation was made, but when the remodeling was completed the justices decided that there was no room for us. We were in a rented structure then and have been ever since.
Mr. Bynns. You are not in a fireproof building ?
Mr. Costello. I should say it is: at least semifireproof. It is in the Century Building, built in 1900, 21 years ago. It was the first building erected in Washington of iron and concrete and so it is practically fireproof, but we have wooden floors.
Mr. Wood. What have they in the space occupied by you in the courthouse?
Mr. COSTELLO. I think the marshal's office is there.
Mr. Wood. Was not the marshal's office in the building before?
Mr. CoSTELLO. Yes, sir; but it was on the other side. In reconstructing the courthouse I think the idea of the justices was to make room for two additional justices which they expected to have, because their docket, as I understand it, has been congested for some years.
The CHAIRMAN. Would you employ, if you had the machines, five additional record writers and typists?
Mr. COSTELLO. Yes, sir.
Mr. COSTELLO. No; we are authorized by law to pay them 40 per cent of the recording price of the deed.
The CHAIRMAN. You pay them up to the full 40 per cent?
Mr. COSTELLO. Really, I did not bring that along with me. I had that here when I appeared before the Appropriations Committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Approximately? Mr. Costello. I think the highest amount of receipts was about $87,000 a year.
The CHAIRMAN. How many employees have you?
many more do
want? Mr. COSTELLO. Five more.
The CHAIRMAN. I think I understood you to say that they cost $350 ?
Mr. COSTELLO. $357 each.
Mr. COSTELLO. We want 24 new machines to put on typewriter desks, etc.
The CHAIRMAN. What will they cost?
Mr. COSTELLO. $4,560; only they allow us for the old machines $648.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a minimum allowance here of $676.80. Mr. COSTELLO. I have here--
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Do you think this is an gency?
Mr. COSTELLO. The result will be, I am afraid, that the work of the office will practically break down.
The CHAIRMAN. How far behind are you with your work now? Mr. COSTELLO. Five or six months.
The CHAIRMAN. How long will it take you to get the work of the office current if you are given the additional facilities?
Mr. COSTELLO. I am afraid that it would take some time, because the work of the office is very heavy. I have no authority and no leeway in any way. These conditional bills of sale take an immense amount of time. Yet me must take them, and it takes a clerk just as long or longer than to record property costing thousands of dollars. We have to use the same book.
Mr. Wood. You record them on the same book?
Mr. COSTELLO. I have not the authority to do it. When I reported to the Appropriations Committee some few weeks ago I think it was Congressman Davis and Congressman Johnson who suggested that I get in touch with the United States district attorney, who is our legal advisor, and that we get together with him and map out some essential program for changes in the work.
Mr. Woon. You record your mortgages in the same book with the chattels?
Mr. COSTELLO. Yes, sir; mortgages, chattels, and bills of sale are all recorded in the same book.
Mr. Wood. You have one book?
Mr. COSTELLO. We are short of typists now. While they all work very hard, a machine may break down to-day and it may take us two or three days to get it repaired so that they can operate on it again. In addition to that the type on these machines has worn and they cut into the permanent record books and in some cases they are almost illegible.
you be in?
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1922.
XATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK.
STATEMENTS OF MR. NED HOLLISTER, SUPERINTENDENT NA. TIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK, AND MR. D. W. HOLTON, WATER DEPARTMENT, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
LAYING OF WATER MAINS.
The CHAIRMAX. You are asking for $3,250 to lay a water main in the Zoological Park. Is that an emergency or a deficiency?
Mr. HOLLISTER. Our attention was called to this matter just a month ago and after our regular appropriation hearing. Capt. Wood, assistant to the engineer commissioner, came to the park and impressed me with the necessity of taking more or all of our water off of the second high, as it is called, which is on the east side of the park, instead of from the third high on the west side of the park. We have a 6-inch pipe that comes in from the Harvard Street gate and goes up to the elephant house in the park from the second high; the rest of the water comes from the Connecticut Avenue gate from this third high. The CHAIRMAN. Is this an emergency? Mr. HOLLISTER. Capt. Wood tells me it is. The CHAIRMAN. Tell us what the emergency is. Mr. HOLLISTER. We have not money enough to do it this year.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have to do it? That is what I want to find out.
Mr. HOLLISTER. He tells me that the demand for water on this high service is so great that recently he has refused Chevy Chase 100,000 gallons of water a day, and that he would like to have us take all of our water from the second high.
The CHAIRMAN. Then this is to accommodate somebody else?
Mr. HOLLISTER. It is chiefly a matter in the interest of the water department. The assistant to the engineer commissioner asked us to put in this estimate, and he said he would be glad to defend it for us. He has convinced me that he is right about it, and he knows more about the city water supply than I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they say the water supply is short?
Mr. Hollister. They say it is on the third high reservoir, which is the Reno Reservoir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the emergency in connection with this?
Mr. HOLLISTER. He tells me that the demand is so great for water from this third high service that they are refusing, as I say, to deliver water to Chevy Chase, and he tells me a serious situation exists. I have his statement for that.
The CHAIRMAN. Nobody has made any such statement as that in connection with the water supply or in connection with the problem of extending and increasing the water supply. How would this obviate that condition?
Mr. HOLLISTER. Shall I read (apt. Wood's letter?
Mr. HOLLISTER. Capt. Wood has sent an engineer from the water department to explain the engineers' part of it. I know nothing about that. Capt. Wood writes:
With further reference to the water supply within the grounds of the Zoological Park, which I discussed with you to-day, I would again suggest the desirability of serving your grounds solely from the Brightwood Reservoir via the Harvard Street entrance. This service has an effective head of 276 feet which would furnisi a resultant head of 271.4 at the Zeico Grounds. À study of the contours indicates that your highest fixture is 230 feet.
The average daily consumption by the Zoo is 269,000 gallons from the second high supply and 115,000 gallons from the third high. The third high service enters your grounds at the connecticut Avenue gate, and is on the Reno Reservoir service. I would invite your attention to the fact that this is our most expensive and most sensitive service, having a reservoir capacity of only little more than one day's consumption, and is served by pumps which are not considered adequate in the presence of ordinary hazards. So close to the margin is this Reno service that a very strong appeal for 100,000 gallons daily recently made by the residents of Chery Chase, Md., was denied as not consistent with the necessary protection for the people within the District boundaries.
Engineers of the water department have studied your supply and recommend that the existing 6-inch main from the Harvard Street entrance be extended from a point near the elephant house in a northwesterly direction to replace the existing 2-inch service from the Connecticut Avenue entrance; and that the (tonnecticut Avenue service valve be closed so that service will not be used except in emergencies. It is estimated that such an adjustment would involve the laying of approximately 1,.300 feet of 6-inch pipe at a cost of $2,850. The Water department would install this line should you desire, reimbursement being made to the District by the usual transfer voucher.
It is suggested that your engineer look into the advisability of such an extension. The water department will be pleased to offer any assistance desired in connection with his investigations and in furnishing you any data you may desire.
Such a change would be a decided public benefit. Should it be necessary to require a supplemental appropriation for this item the District will show justification of the same and assist your office in every manner possible.