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vision for the payment of the necessary expenses of the Committee as a whole, nor is any provision made for paying for the clerical work of this Committee, which is considerable. All of the expenses for clerical services, analyses of samples, etc., for the first meeting of the Committee were assumed by this Department, the clerical work being performed by the clerks of the Department, and the cost of analyses, postage, express, etc., being paid for out of the office expense fund of the Department. The addition of this large amount of clerical work to the regular work of the Department, without any increase in the office force, served to delay the preparation of contracts, the Committee correspondence, and the office work, and it seems to me that some provision should be made for additional clerical help in this Department at those periods of the year when the Committee is in session, with an allowance for postage, stationery, cost of analyses of samples and other expenses incidental to Committee meetings, or else an appropriation should be made to the Committee direct to provide for these expenses.
The quality of supplies purchased under contract has been generally satisfactory. There have been occasional instances. where shipments by contractors have not been up to the requirements of the specifications, but these have been matters that have been adjusted without any difficulty by the institutions to which they were made, as the specifications are in every case explicit, and as all contractors are compelled to give bond for the faithful performance of the contracts.
CONDITION OF THE POWER PLANTS.
Very few changes have been made during the past year in the beating plants of the institutions reporting to this Department, and the plants generally are in excellent condition. The old
dilapidated plant at the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia was replaced by a modern plant a year ago which has worked well and given excellent results, with a marked decrease in the cost of fuel. A new heating plant also was installed at the Thomas Indian School at Iroquois, which has not yet been operated long enough to prove its merit but which it is expected will prove satisfactory.
At the New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, at Bath, fuel-saving devices have been installed under the boilers, and are effecting a very great saving in the cost of fuel, as is discussed at length elsewhere in this report.
At the New York State Custodial Asylum for Feeble Minded Women at Newark considerable trouble has been experienced with scale, the spring water, which is now being used, precipitating a large amount of calcium sulphate which forms a very hard scale on the boilers. The correction of this difficulty has occupied the attention of the institution and this Department for several months past, causing much annoyance.
The improvement which resulted two years ago from the general overhauling of the heating plants, the covering of steam pipes, the protection of steam mains in conduits, and repairs of valves to stop leakage, has continued, and to-day there is practically no cause for complaint in the work of the fire-room force.
At the Western House of Refuge for Women at Albion, where three horizontal tubular return boilers, with an aggregate rating of 170 horse-power, the heating plant is in good condition, and the vertical engine used to operate the fan in connection with the sewage disposal plant, is working satisfactorily. The difficulties experienced with this plant two years ago have been entirely overcome as a result of closer attention to duty on the part of the
employee in charge. No repairs out of the ordinary have been made during the year.
At the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia, where the power plant consists of three horizontal tubular return boilers, rated at 100 horse-power each, and one locomotive boiler, rated at 15 horse-power, the results obtained during the past year have been quite satisfactory. The locomotive boiler has been reset in the new power house, and all of the buildings are now heated from this plant. A new pump and electric motor have been installed in the pump house, replacing the small boiler and pump formerly used for pumping drinking water for the institution. The old plumbing has been removed from the east and west wings of the main building and replaced with modern sanitary fixtures. The sewage tanks have been cleaned and repaired and are in good condition. The numerous leaks on joints and valves have been taken up, and a general improvement is noticeable in the engineering department.
At the New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Bath, eight horizontal tubular return boilers constitute the power plant. These boilers are used to generate steam for electric lighting, pumping water, heating and cooking. They are rated at 766 horse-power, and are fitted with a system of forced draft, burning buckwheat No. 3 anthracite coal. There is one vertical boiler located at the sewage house, which is used for pumping sewage. With the exception of the installation of the forced draft system only ordinary repairs have been made to the boilers, such as renewing a few tubes and sections of grate bars. The engines in the laundry and the pumps in the power house have been thoroughly overhauled during the year. The old pipe coils in barracks G have been replaced with National cast-iron raidators in the
center of the rooms. The return pipes in the cellar of barracks G, which were buried in the ground, have been raised two feet above the surface, and the heating apparatus in this barracks is now in good order. The shop engine has been reset in the pump-room, and the pumps have been thoroughly overhauled and reset on new foundations. Shafting has been installed and two pipe machines have been set in the shop. The store-room has been fitted up, and all fittings are now stored at this point. A new metallic dry-room and a new water heater have been installed in the laundry. A concrete conduit has been built between the hospital and barracks G, and new steam and return lines have been installed in the conduit. New steam and return lines have been run between the Quartermaster's office and the power house.
Conditions in the boiler-room at the Home have improved materially since the last report.
Only ordinary repairs have been made to engines and pumps at the New York State Reformatory for Women at Bedford, where the power plant consists of three horizontal tubular return boilers, rated at 220 horse-power, which are used for generating steam for electric lighting, pumping water and heating. There is one vertical tubular return boiler located in the laundry building and used to generate steam for laundry work. New tubes were placed in this boiler during the past year. The hangers on the steam pipe in the main conduit were found to be too weak to support the pipe, and they have been removed and replaced with hangers suitable for the work. The fire-room force at this institution is thoroughly competent.
At the New York State Reformatory at Elmira the power house contains eight horizontal tubular return boilers rated at 1,220
horse-power. There are two boilers located in the cabinet shop, rated at 60 horse-power each, the use of which has been discontinued during the current fiscal year. The boilers are fired and cared for by the inmates under the direct supervision of a fireman, and the engines and generators are cared for by inmates under the direction of the assistant engineer. The pumps are operated by the firemen assisted by inmates. A recording gauge has been installed in the power house, which tends to make the boys take more interest in their work as the records show a decided improvement since the installation of the gauge. The steam pipe in the engine room has been reassembled, together with the steam lines in the conduits, and all are in good condition. Three washing machines, two extractors and one mangle have been installed temporarily in the kitchen of the old domestic building, where a temporary drying room also has been fitted up.
The power house and machinery in it are cared for and cleaned by the inmates under the direct supervision of the assistant engi neers. The engine room and fire room at this institution show an evidence of strict attention to business on the part of the employees and inmates who have charge of them.
Four horizontal tubular return boilers, with an aggregate of 425 horse-power constitute the battery at the New York State Training School for Girls at Hudson. No repairs or improvements of moment have been made to this plant during the past year as it was in good condition. One 125 horse-power engine, connected with two 30 kilowatt generators, furnishes the light for the institution.
At the Thomas Indian School at Iroquois there are three horizontal tubular return boilers, with an aggregate rating of 160 horse-power in the old power house.