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Supply Bill appropriating $5,000 for equipping the boilers at the home with some kind of fuel-saving device.
The department then entered into correspondence with several manufacturers of different kinds of fuel-saving devices, some of them automatic stokers and others, systems of forced draft, the automatic stokers being mainly for the use of bituminous coal and the forced draft systems being for the use of anthracite or both anthracite and bituminous. Each manufacturer was requested to give the address of concerns in New York State which had their particular device in use, in order that the workings of the same might be investigated. Several of the State hospitals for the insane were mentioned by the manufacturers of automatic stokers, and from the superintendents of these reports of their efficiency and general desirability were obtained. A number of manufacturing plants in New York City, Schenectady, Albany and Amsterdam also were referred to, and the department's inspector of buildings, heating and lighting visited all of these and made a personal inspection, reporting the results thereof to this department.
Owing to the fact that the power house at the home is situated in a valley and that on a previous occasion when the use of soft coal had been tried during the coal strike the smoke therefrom proved objectionable, the department's investigations, were made with special reference to the elimination of smoke by those devices which were designed for the use of soft coal.
On May 31st, after the department's investigations had been completed, the following letter was sent to Col. Joseph E. Ewell, Commandant of the Home:
"Col. JOSEPH E. EWELL, Commandant:
"MAY 31, 1905.
"DEAR SIR.-I am sending you herewith information collected by this department in re fuel-saving devices with a view to hav ing some such system used under the boilers at your institution. An item for $5,000 for this purpose was included in the Supply Bill, which, it is expected, will receive the approval of the Governor within the next week, and it is highly desirable that the new equipment should be installed as soon as possible after this appropriation shall become available.
"I would suggest, therefore, that this matter be brought to the attention of the trustees of the home as early as possible at a special meeting to be held for that purpose. If you will notify this department of the date of such meeting, Mr. Kilbourn, department inspector of buildings, heating and lighting, will be present to give you any further information that you may desire.
"Please return as soon as the board is finished with them the copies of inspector's reports dated April 18th and 20, May 2d, May 4th and May 29th, as they are desired for filing in this office. "Yours respectfully,
"(Signed) H. H. BENDER,
At a meeting of the board of trustees held in August, contract was awarded for the installation of a fuel-saving device to burn either anthracite or bituminous coal under the boilers of the Home, and in the month of September a test was made which showed the plant to be in satisfactory working order. The work was not completed in time for the practical working of the device to show during the fiscal year ending September 30th, but during the first five months of the current fiscal year the results shown have been quite satisfactory. During the months of October and November, as compared with the corresponding months of the two preceding years, the monthly saving on the institution's
coal bill was $1,200.00 each, and in the month of December, 1905, the cost of coal for the boiler-room was $1,883.70 as compared with $3,868.80 for the month of December, 1904, a saving for the month of $1,984.30. During January, 1906, the saving was $1,924.20, as compared with the preceding year, and during February the saving was $1,339.80, making a total net saving on coal for the five months of $7,756.78, from which it is safe to assume that the saving on fuel at the Soldiers' Home during the current fiscal year will be at least $15,000, and I am of the opinion that it will exceed this amount.
During the fiscal year ending September 30, 1905, building operations have been conducted at six of the sixteen institutions reporting to this Department--the New York State Reformatory at Elmira; Western House of Refuge for Women, Albion; New York State Reformatory for Women, Bedford; New York State Custodial Asylum for Feeble Minded Women, Newark; State Industrial School, Rochester; Rome State Custodial Asylum. At all but Elmira this building is being done for the purpose of increasing the capacity of the institutions under appropriations made by the Legislature of 1905. At Elmira a considerable portion of this new work is to replace the buildings burned by the fire which occurred there last March. Ninety thousand dollars has been appropriated for new dormitories at Craig Colony for Epileptics at Sonyea. The contract for this work was not let until December, owing to litigation in connection with a bid which was. delayed in transit.
Every possible effort has been made to expedite the work on the new buildings. As soon as the appropriations were made I
consulted with the State architect to hasten the preparation of the plans, and just as soon as the money became available, visited the institutions and advised with the managers and superintendents in order that an early start might be made. While the work in most cases was started promptly, in my opinion it has not progressed as rapidly as it should have for the reason that the force of men employed, in nearly every instance, has been too small, contractors claiming that they cannot secure men enough.
At Newark, where an appropriation was made for two new cottages, the only work done up to the middle of November was the excavation for the foundations and for the conduit.
At Rome the foundation for Ward Building J is being laid, and the walls and the piers are above ground.
At Albion excavations have been completed for both of the new cottages, and also for the conduit. The south cottage has the foundation walls up about three feet, and the north cottage has the foundation walls almost up to the water table.
At Bedford, where two new cottages were provided for, cottage No. 5 has been excavated, footings installed, and some of the foundation walls have been cast. Cottage No. 6 has been excavated, and all of the interior concrete walls were up to the brick work, and on November 16th men were at work casting the interior walls.
At Rush, the new site for the Rochester State Industrial School, work has progressed slowly on the sixteen cottages and sixteen barns begun in 1904. Cottage No. 1 has the excavation com
pleted, and foundations built to the sill. The barn belonging to
this cottage is in the same condition.
Cottage No. 2 has the
excavation complete and the foundations erected, and studding
up to the plate. No second floor beams have been set. The barn has been framed, roofed and sided. Cottage No. 3 has been excavated, and on November 17th men were excavating for the barn. Cottage No. 4 has the foundations in, and has been framed and sheathed. The barn has been framed, roofed and siding installed. Cottage No. 5 has been excavated, footings put in, and forms erected for the concrete walls. The excavations have been made for the barn, and the forms for footings have been placed. Cottage No. 6 has been framed, the roof is on, and the siding placed, but no heating or plumbing work has been done. The barn is in the same condition. Cottage No. 7 has been excavated, and footing installed. On November 17th the foundations were about two feet high. The barn has been excavated, footings set, and foundations are up to sill. Cottage No. 8 has been plastered and partly trimmed. The plumbing has been roughed in, and heating system installed up to radiators. The barn is primed, sided and roofed, but no interior finish has been installed. Cottage No. 9 is plastered and partly trimmed, but lacks floors, doors, sash, transoms, stairs, etc. Plumbing has been roughed in and slate set. The heating system has been installed up to radiators, but no radiators set. The barn has ben primed, roofed and sided. Cottage No. 10 has been plastered and partly trimmed, but no stairs or floors installed. General finishing and painting are required. The plumbing is roughed in and slate set. The barn lacks interior finish. Cottage No. 11 requires finishing. The heating is all installed, but is not in operation. The barn requires interior finishing. Cottage No. 12 requires finishing up. The heating system is in operation. The barn is complete with the exception of the exterior doors, feed-bins and enclosure to sheep yard. Cottage No. 13 is completed with the