A regular semi-monthly meeting of Allegheny City Councils was held yesterday (Thursday) evening, April 22d, 1869, at 7 o'clock p. m.
Members present—Messrs. Callery, English, Faulkner, Gwinner, Hall, Hartman, Morrison, Patterson, J. C., Patterson, A., Phillips, Riddle, Wettach and President McBrier.
On motion of Mr. Hall the reading of the minutes was dispensed with.
Mr. English presented a petition for the paving of First alley, in the Third ward. Referred to the Street Committee.
Mr. Riddle presented a remonstrance from a large number of citizens protesting against making any change in the City Building that would interfere with the Library. Referred to Committee on City Property.
Mr. Patterson presented a petition from citizens in the Fifth and Sixth wards asking for the passage of an ordinance prohibiting the erection of oil refineries in the city limits, and also preventing the extension of refineries already erected.
Mr. Phillips, a petition for a lamp post. Referred to Gas Committee.
Mr. A. Patterson, a petition for the paving of Fayette street. Referred to Street Committee.
Mr. English presented the opinion of the City Solicitor in reference to the nuisance on South avenue. Referred to the Wharf Committee.
Also an opinion relative to the ordinance relating to disorderly houses, in which he decided that Councils have no authority to pass such an ordinance. Referred to the Police Committee.
Mr. Hall presented the report of the Controller, setting forth the accounts of the several city offices with the city Revenue and filed.
Report of Finance Committee.
Mr. Hall, from the Committee on Finance, presented the following report:
Gentlemen: Your Committee on Finance respectfully report that at a former meeting of the Committee, the City Solicitor reported that the case of J. H. Logan vs. the City, for injuries to his wife, &c., had been tried in the District Court and a verdict given in favor of Logan for the sum of $437, and that the case of the same plaintiff and wife against the city was on the list for trial; that he was of the opinion that said cases could be settled for the sum of $1,000 and costs, and that it would probably be for the interest of the city to settle said cases for the terms proposed.
Your Committee, after considering all the circumstances and facts, recommended the Solicitor to make the settlement of said cases, if he could do so, for a sum not exceeding $1,000 and costs. The Solicitor now reports to your Committee that he has settled said cases, on the following terms, viz: $1,000 and costs amounting to $1,112.39. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that said settlement be ratified by the Councils, and offer the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Controller be and he is hereby authorized and directed to draw a warrant in favor of the City Solicitor for the sum of $1,112.39 in full for the settlement of the cases of Logan and Logan and wife vs the city of Allegheny, being Nos. 114 and 115 of November term, 1867, of the District Court of Allegheny.
The report was received and the resolution adopted.
Report of Water Committee.
Mr. Wettach, Chairman of the Committee on Water, presented a report stating that the Committee were compelled to defer action for the present for want of funds, on all petitions for the laying of water pipe referred to them at the last meeting. The report was also accompanied by the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Superintendent of Water Works be, and he is hereby instructed to have six inch water pipe laid along Fulton street from Washington avenue to Franklin street, at an estimated cost of $1,300. Also four inch water pipe on Beaver street from Montgomery to North avenue, at a cost of $450,00.
The report was accepted and the resolution adopted.
The Street Department.
Mr. Myler, Chairman of the Committee on Streets, presented the following report:
Gentlemen—In the matter of opening and establishing the grade of Ohern street, in the Second ward, the City Engineer has been directed to report profile.
The Committee considered the various propositions of petitioners relating to Market street, and report adversely to granting that portion of prayer of petitioners which refers to a reduction of that street to a uniform width between either of the designated points, for the reason that in the opinion of the Committee the petitions represent only an inconsiderable portion of the people interested. The Committee submit the following resolutions as more likely to meet with the views ot [sic] the persons interested:
Resolved, That the Park Commission be requested and authorized to improve a reserved central space of forty feet on Market street where the width of that street is not less than ninety feet.
In the matter of vacating Walker street from Jalappa to Ridge street. Your committee report that they see no force in the arguments of petitionesr [sic] and again report adversely to granting their prayer. Your Committee report adversely to changing the name of Webster street from North Common to Stockton avenne [sic], to Sherman avenue, as it is clearly against all sense of propriety and use. The changing of names of well established streets without a very good reason. The attention of your Committee was directed to the narrow width of River avenue, at the point crossed by the present culvert, in the Fourth ward. It is urged that it cannot be remedied unless said culvert is extended to the line of property. Your Committee referred the matter to the City Engineer, with instructions to report what is needed. Ordinances for grading and paving the following streets, &c., and construction of Spring Garden avenue sewer accompany report.
For grading only:
Evans' alley north of Nixon street, Sixth Ward.
Grading and paving:
Market street from Juniata to Locust; Grant alley from north line of Third street, to north line of Kauffman's lot; Carpenter's alley from Pine street to Union alley; Montgomery alley from North alley southwardly.
For paving only:
Blossom alley between Ohara and First street.
Spring Garden avenue.
The report was accepted.
The resolution relative to Market street, in the Fifth Ward, was referred to the Committee on City Property.
Mr. Riddle moved that so much of the report as referred to the change of the name of Webster street be referred back to the Committee with instructions to report an ordinance changing the name of the street in accordance with the wishes of the citizens. Adopted.
The ordinances referred in the report were read and passed finally.
Mr. Patterson moved to amend the ordinance authorizing the paving of Market street, so as to extend from Washington avenue to Walnut street. Adopted.
The ordinance, as amended, was adopted.
The ordinance relative to the sewer on White Oak alley was taken up.
Mr. McBrier moved to amend by terminating the sewer at Hemlock street. Adopted.
The ordinance providing for the construction of a sewer on Spring Garden avenue was taken up and discussed at considerable length.
Mr. Hall moved to amend by referring the matter back to the Committee to stipulate how the money for the payment of the cost of the sewer was to be raised.
Mr. J. C. Patterson moved to amend by providing that the cost ot [sic] construction over the frontage tax be paid in bonds. Adopted.
The vote then recurred on Mr. Hall's amendment, which was adopted.
The Chairman of Committee on City Property presented their report, stating that the petition of J. B. McDonald for the lease of a vacant lot in the Fifth ward had been laid over for further consideration.
The report was accompanied by the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Controller be and he is hereby authorized to certify a warwant [sic] in favor of Robert Finney, Esq., for $300, being in full for policy of insurance on Public Building and Market House to the amount of $30,000 for three years.
Report accepted and resolution adopted.
The Registry Law.
Mr. Riddle presented a certified copy of the new Registry law, which was occompanied [sic] by an ordinance providing for carrying the law into effect, and appropriating $1,000 for defraying the expense of the same.
The ordinance was adopted.
Mr. Faulkner presented the report of the Viewers on Webster street and Taylor avenue.
On motion of Mr. Riddle, the reports were laid over until next meeting.
Mr. Hall presented the following resolution.
Resolved, That the Finance Committee be instructed to report what steps are necessary to comply with the act of the Legislature in regard to the sewerage tax. Adopted.
Mr. Riddle presented the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Committee on City Property be instructed to have shade trees planted around the Market House and City Building, and hitching posts around the same buildings.
Mr. McBrier amended by referring the resolution back to consider the propriety of placing a fence around the squarə [sic] on which the City Building stands. Adopted.
Mr. Riddle presented a resolution raising a special Committee to take into consideration the propriety of improving the Third ward square. Adopted.
Assembled at eight o'clock; President Slack in the chair.
Members present—Messrs. Blair, Comly, Gilliland, Grenet, Hanna, Hastings, Kirkpatrick, Krebbs, Kopp, Long, Megraw, McNeil, Ober, Porter, Reineman, Seidle, Tate, Thompson, Voegtly, Warner and President Slack.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
Petitions, Resolutions, etc.
Mr. Kirkpatrick presented a petition from property holders on Jefferson street asking for the paving of the same. Referred to Committee on Streets.
Mr. Hastings, a petition from citizens residing on Third alley, Third ward, asking for an extension of water facilities, Referred to Water Committee.
Mr. Reineman, a petition for opening of Troy alley from Union to Canal streets. Referred to Committee on Streets.
Mr. Warner, petition for water pipe on Preble street, Sixth ward, between Franklin and Washington streets. Referred to Water Committee.
Mr. Long, petition for sewer on Lincoln avenue, from Allegheny to Grant avenues, First ward. Referred to Committee on Streets and Sewers.
Resignation of James Hunter.
Mr. Tate offered the resignation of Jas. Hunter, Weighmaster of the Second ward scales. The resignation was accepted.
Remonstrances, Petitions, &c.
Mr. Krebbs, remonstrance against grading and paving Gerst alley, Third ward.
Referred to Committee on Streets.
Mr. Long offered a resolution instrncting [sic] the Committee on Wharves and Landings to have the swamp in front of South avenue, First ward, properly drained. Referred to Committee on Wharves and Landings.
Mr. Long, a resolution instructing the Committee on Ordinance, in conjunction with the City Solicitor, to investigate and report on the expediency of requiring the railroad companies passing through the city to erect gates or proper guards at the street crossings used by them for the better protection of life and limb. Adopted.
Mr. Tate, an ordinance relative to the tapping of public sewers throughout the city. Referred to the Committee on Wharves and Landings.
The Fire Department.
Mr. Megraw, Chairman of the Committee on Fire Engines, presented the following report:
Gentlemen: Your Committee on Fire Engines would respectfully report that they have been considerably exercised of late by the unreliable, or apparently unreliable, working of the Fire Alarm Telegraph. Several tests had been made by the Committee, all of which were of an unsatisfactory character, and, as if to add to the already discouraging state of affairs, false alarms were repeatedly given. The Committee being anxious to have the efficiency of the alarm tested, communicated with Messrs. Kennard & Co., requesting them to send some competent person here to put the line in order. That firm rosponded [sic] by sending Mr. Rogers, who has, since his arrival, been engaged in investigating and setting things to right. It is but just to mention that the report of Mr. Rogers' shows the line to have been in pretty good order, and with the exception of two or three boxes, in very good order. The bad working of it is accounted for for [sic] by the fact that it had been subjected to a systematic or rather continued tampering, a fact which has been abundantly demonstrated by the admission of the guilty parties, two of whom were paid employes of the city, viz: John Hunter, driver of the Friendship Hose Company, and James Hunter, weighmaster of the Second ward scales. Mr. Rogers bears ample testimony to the efficiency of our present Superintendent of the Fire Alarm Telegraph, Mr. McCandless, as in every way competent to take care of the line, and keep it in good condition. Your Committee expect to report at the next meeting of Councils that the entire line, with the change of locks upon the boxes and the placing of a new repeater in the City Building, will be in the best possible shape and secure against every emergency. Your Committee had another and a serious matter before them, growing out of the arrest and conviction of the President and Foreman of the Friendship Hose Company of tampering with the alarm telegraph, already incidentally referred to in this report. Heretofore your Committee regarded the Friendship Company as one of the most reliable and efficient companies in the Department, and yet your committee are free to admit that the great bulk of that company are good enough, but have been overawed and thrown into a state of mutiny by following the counsellings of the rowdy element in the organization, led on by a few bad men, who by their own admissions were guilty of all that was charged against them. The Company, we are sorry to say, had openly arrayed themselves in defiance of the law, at least two days before the meeting of your Committee, refusing to do service, leaving no alternative to the Committee than to take charge of the house and institute such measures as in their opinion would best subserve the interests of the city and citizens in that section, supposed to be protected by this organization. the Committee held a meeting to consider the matter on Monday night last, and after hearing all the facts, concluded that the best course was to disband the organization and effect a new one, in the meantime to close the house and remove the horse and apparatus to the Ellsworth house. After this plan was agreed upon, your committee visited the Friendship house and found the state of affairs anything but flattering. The hose, reel and all the equipments of the Company, including gum coats, belts and hats, together with furnishments were spirited away leaving nothing behind but the old hose reel, horse, and bedding, everything being in a high state of confusion. As a palliation, or excuse for this high-handed villiany [sic], it is alleged for their benefit, that it was not the property of the city, and therefore they could do as they pleased with it. Be this as it may, your Committee are not satisfied with that view of the case, and propose to test the law whether a few disaffected persons can destroy the efficiency of an organization and jeopardize the interests of citizens by removing property, the money to secure which was furnished by the citizens at large, probably not a single cent contributed by those leading in the present hostility to the city.
Your Committee report the following resolutions touching both matters referred to in the report:
Resolved, By the Select and Common Council of the City of Allegheny, and it is hereby enacted by authority of the same, that the previous bad working of the Fre [sic] Alarm Telegraph is not attributable to any defective working of the machinery of the line, but it is solely and entirely due to the systematic tampering therewith.
Resolved further, The thanks of Councils are due, and are hereby extended to the firm of Messrs. Gamewell & Kennard for their prompt response in sending Mr. Rogers here to adjust and put the telegraph in order.
Resolved, That Mr. McCandless, our present Superintendent of Fire Alarm Telegraph, is entitled to our confidence, and we regard him as in every way competent to discharge the duties pertaining to his department.
The report was received and the resolutions adopted.
New Gas Posts.
Mr. Tate, from the Committee on Gas, presented a report, accompanied by the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Superintendent of the Water Works be and he is hereby instructed to have lamps and posts placed as follows: Corner of Rose alley and Federal street, the same to be attached to the building; on Sheffield street corner of Fulton, and half way between Fulton and Manhattan streets; corner of Grant and North avenues; corner of Robinson street and Bell's alley, to be attached to building.
Report received and resolution adopted.
Mr. Hastings offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the President and officers of the Allegheny Library be, and they are hereby notified to procure another place for the accommodation of said Library, and vacate the City Building January 1st, 1868 [sic].
After some discussion, the resolution was laid on the table.
In all business not otherwise noted, S. C. concurred.
On motion, adjourned.
Councils met in joint session in the Common Council chamber for the purpose of electing a City Controller, in place of Mr. Francis, resigned, and a Weighmaster for the Second ward scales in place of Mr. Hunter, resigned.
President Slack of the Common banch [sic] presided.
Nominations for City Controller being in order, Mr. McNeill nominated Wm. M. Porter, of the Fourth ward. On motion, nominations closed, and Mr. Porter was unanimously elected.
Nominations for Weighmaster were next proceeded with. Mr. McNeill nominated R. T. White, of the Sixth ward. On motion, nominations closed, and Mr. White was elected by acclamation.
The joint session then adjourned.