From Pittsburgh Streets

"Allegheny Councils: Regular semi-monthly meeting—reports of committees—Controller's report." Pittsburgh Gazette, May 14, 1869, p. 8. 86349689.

Regular Semi-Monthly Meeting—Reports of Committees—Controller's Report.

A regular semi-monthly meeting of the Select and Common Councils of Allegheny City, was held in the Council Chambers, City Building, Allegheny City, Thursday evening, May 13, 1869, at half past seven o'clock.

Select Council.

Members present: Messrs. Callery, Faulkner, Gwinner, Hartman, Hall, Myler, Morrison, Phillips, Patterson, J. C., Patterson, Alex., Riddle, Reiter, Reed, Wettach, and President McBrier.

The minutes of the preceeding [sic] meeting were read and approved.

Petitions, etc.

Mr. Wettach presented a petition from the citizens on Concord street asking for water on said Street. Referred to the Water Committee.

Mr. Riddle, a petition for the grading of Ridge street. Referred to the Street Committee.

Mr. Faulkner, a petition for water on Brady street. Referred to the Water Committee.

Mr. Myler presented the plan for a lateral sewer on Anderson street and Stoddard alley. Approved.

Also, plan of lateral sewers on Western and Lincoln avenues. Adopted.

Mr. Patterson presented a communication from the Board of Park Commissioners, accompanied by an ordinance for prohibiting cattle from running at large in the city limits.

Mr. Myler moved to amend by striking out cows. The amendment was lost.

Mr. A. Patterson moved to amend by exempting the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth wards, from the operation of the ordinance. Not seconded.

Mr. Phillips moved to amend by changing the ordinance so as to prevent cows from trespassing on the Common ground. The amendment was adopted.

After some discussion, Mr. Phillips moved to reconsider the amendment. Carried.

Mr. Callery then moved to except the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth wards, from the operation of the ordinance. The amendment was adopted.

The question then recurring on the ordinance as amended, it was passed finally, under a suspension of the rules.

The Street Department.

Mr. Myler, Chairman of the Committee on Streets, presented the following report.

Gentlemen: Your Committee on Streets submit the following report: In reference to the petition of the Fort Wayne Railroad Company, asking Councils to grant them the privilige [sic] of lowering the grade of Ohio avenue six inches, at its junction with Grant avenue, also, the privilege of laying a side track across said avenue, your Committee recommend that the prayer of the petitioners be granted. Your Committee again report adversely to granting the prayer of the petitioners in relation to the changing of the name of that portion of Webster street between Stockton avenue and North Common, to Sherman avenue, for the same reason urged in the previous report of the Committee, that it is not in good taste or of any use, the changing of names of well establihsed [sic] thoroughfares, unless for much better reasons than those offered by petitioners.

Your Committee had before them the ordinance relating to the tapping of and use of sewers in the city, and after making several alterations referred the amended ordinance back for adoption.

The petition for opening Troy alley, in the Seventh ward, has been referred to the Street Commissioner with instructions to notify parties owners of property on the line thereof to open said alley, provided the facts are as petitioners represent that the plan of lots and deed calls for said alley.

The petition for a culvert on Perry street, at a point crossed by Spring Garden Run, has been favorably considered, and an ordinance accompanies authorizing the construction thereof.

The ordinance relating to the construction of a main sewer on Spring Garden Avenue, presented at last meeting of Councils, and referred back to committee on streets, with instructions to report what action is necessary to provide funds is again reported to your honorable bodies, with the endorsement of your committee, that the present sewer law provides how the funds shall be raised by assessing a special frontage tax, and assessing the entire property of the city, exclusive of the improvement for main sewers, &c. Ordinances authorizing construction of the following lateral sewers, and paving and grading the following streets and alleys, accompany report:

Grading—Garden, Main and Market streets, Seventh ward.

Paving—Evans alley from Sheffield to Franklin streets.

Grading and Paving—Jefferson Street from Beaver Street, to Shield's alley; Fayette street from Fulton street to Beaver avenue; first alley north of Hemlock street, and running parallel therewith, Third Ward.

Lateral Sewers—Western Avenue from Allegheny avenue to West Common sewer; Lincoln avenue and Rope alley from Allegheny avenue to to [sic] Western avenue via Rope alley; White Oak alley from Spring alley to North avenue; North avenu [sic] from White Oak alley to Sandusky street.

Before action was taken upon the report Mr. Riddle enquired what action the Committee had taken relative to the change of the name of Webster street and Sherman Avenue? He stated that at a previous meeting, councils had instructed the Committee to report an ordinance providing for a change. Mr. Myler then presented the ordinance providing that the name of Webster street be changed to Sherman Avenue, betwenn [sic] Stockton Avenue and North Common.

The ordinance was passed finally under a suspension of the rules.

An ordinance providing for a lateral sewer on Anderson street and Stoddard alley. Read three times and passed.

The ordinances referred to in the report of the Street Committee were read and passed finally under a suspension of the rules.

An ordinance relative to a change in the contract for grading Gallaher street was presented by Mr. Myler.

On motion of Mr. Riddle, the ordinance was laid over until next meeting.

The ordinance for the construction of a sewer on Spring Garden avenue, presented at a previous meeting and referred back to the Committee, was presented by Mr. Myler.

Mr. Callery moved to amend by requiring the contractors to take bonds at par for the deficiency over the frontage assessment, if required. Adopted.

The ordinance as amended was adopted.

Also, an ordinance relative to tapping sewers. Laid over.

Also, a resolution authorizing the city engineer to employ a suitable person to superintend the construction of sewers and inspecting the street when paving, for the year 1869.

Mr. Riddle moved to refer the resolution to the Street Committee. The motion was lost.

The question arising on the adoption of the resolution, it was lost.

On motion of Mr. Myler, the motion to refer to the Committee, was reconsidered.

The resolution was then referred to the Street Committee.

Controller's Report.

Mr. Hall presented the report of the Controller, R. B. Francis, Esq., of which the following is a


Engines $  677 61
Printing 246 10
Streets 1,704 39
Wharves 12 00
Surveys 452 50
Contingent Fund 349 04
Water Works 3,286 16
Gas 1,995 41
 Total bills for April $8,723 21
Firemen $   574 86
Police 2,748 83
City Offices on account 333 32
Previously paid 50,731 30
Warrants outstanding    820 50
 Total from Jan. 1 to May 1, 1869 $63,932 02
Cash in Treasury May 1st 9,636 61

Receipts During April.

Water meters $1,126 43
Delinquent Taxes 8,514 29
Second ward scales 652 44
Diamond Scales 272 72
Lot Regulations 125 00
Fines and Forfeitures 375 00
Sale of Ferrules 200 16
Ground Rents 488 83
Rent of Postoffice room 140 00
Wharfage 364 50
Board Measuring 146 16
Switch Licence     75 00
 Total $12,480 53
Proceeds of $10,000 Note Discounted $ 9,788 89
 Grand Total $22,269 42

The report was accepted and warrants ordered to be drawn for the payment of the bills.

Financial Affairs.

Mr. Hall, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, presented the following report:

Gentlemen: Your Committee on Finance, in pursuance of instructions, respectfully report that they have taken the necessary steps relative to levying the sewerage tax, and herewith submit an ordinance assessing a tax of eight mills on the dollar, five for refunding and three for construction. The total valuation of the real estate in the city, exclusive of improvements, is $2,652,036. An eight mill assessment realizes the sum of $21,216 28, which, in the opinion of your Committee, is ample for the present year:

The Committee calls the attention of Councils to another matter as follows: That at a meeting, held April 29th, 1869, it was decided to destroy fifty-three $1,000 four per cent. Compromise Railroad Bonds, which had been duly signed but never disposed of. The bonds were consigned to the flames in the presence of a majority of the Committee, Controller, Treasurer and Clerk of Committees.

The report was accompanied by an ordinance for the levying of the sewerage tax.

The report was received.

The ordinance referred to in the report, which provides for the assessment of a tax of eight mills, five for refunding and three for construction, was taken up.

Mr. Myler moved to strike out the three mills for construction. The motion was lost.

The question recurring on the ordinance, the yeas and nays were called, when it was adopted by a vote of ten yeas to five nays. C. C. non-concurred and the ordinance was laid over.

Report of Committee on City Property.

Mr. Riddle, Chairman of the Committee on City Property, presented the following report:

Gentlemen: Your Committee on City Property respectfully report that the petition of J. B. McDonald asking leave of vacant public lot in the Fifth Ward, was before them, but, for want of positive data as to the status of the city, the matter was referred to the Engineer to report whether the city owned any property in the locality referred to.

In the matter of improving a reserved central space of forty feet on Market street, where the width is ninety feet, and over, your Committee report adversely thereto, for the reason that the city has no funds at present from which to pay cost of said improvement.

In relation to providing office room for city officers, your Committee report that upon careful reflection and consideration of the whole subject, the best plan of complying with the instructions of your honorable bodies is to appropriate the spaces in the City Building as was originally intended by the architect, and which is as follows: Take the Library room for Select Council Chamber; the present chamber of Select for Common Council; the present Common Council Chamber for Engineer's room; the present room of Engineer, in connection with the present room of Controller, for Controller.

This arrangement of space in the opinion of the Committee is the best, not only because it is the cheapest, but because all other changes are mutilations, and at best only make shifts and other temporary conveniences, serving no other purpose than entailing cost without corresponding benefit; the proposed change locates Council chambers together, better facilitating communication between the branches. The transfer of the Engineering Department locates that office in the best portion of the building, adapted to the purpose both on account of light and ample space. The adding of the Engineer-room to the Controller gives that officer a place to transact his private business without interruption, and this without cost other than the expense of furnishing the same.

The principal item of expense in effecting the whole change, will be in carrying up the vault to the second floor, to provide for the safe keeping of papers pertaining to that office. The extension of the vault is necessary, in any event, so as to provide a depository for the accumulating and past accumulated Council papers, &c. As matters are at present arranged, the papers of Councils are mainly in the custody of the Treasurer, but are more or less scattered in various parts of the building. The Treasurer not being the proper custodian of such papers, it is not to be presumed he desires annoyance by the frequent applications of parties to see and examine old papers, records, &c., more especially in view of the fact that such an application is likely to be made in his greatest hurry.

To carry out any and all of the above suggestions, your Committee report the following resolution, and respectfully ask its adoption:

Resolved, That the Committee on City Property be and they are hereby authorized to carry into effect the above recommendations, first notifying the managers of the Allegheny Library to vacate the room now occupied by them in the City Building on or before the first day of October; and second, instructing the Committee in conjunction with the Controller; to advertise for bids for doing the work in accordance with plans to be prepared by the City Engineer.

In reference to planting trees around the city building; fencing around Second ward square, and erecting hitching posts at various points, your Committe [sic] report that the entire improvement will not cost more than $300. In reference to which your Committee offer the following resolution:

Resolved, That that [sic] Committee on City Property be and they are hereby authorized to contract for thirty trees at a cost of not more than one dollar each, and thirty boxes for the same, the trees to to [sic] placed along the Ohio, Federal streets, and Strawberry alley fronts, of Second ward square; also for building a fence similar to Park fence, around vacant space in rear of city building; also have two hitching posts, or rings in curb placed at some point on same square.

The report was received.

The resolution relative to the changes in the City Building was postponed.

The resolution relative to planting trees around the City Building was amended by Mr. Hall, by making the number of trees fifty, and that the Committee be directed to place a respectable fence around the square. Adopted.

The resolution as amended was then adopted.

Mr. Riddle presented a resolution authorizing the erection of a gas lamp at the corner of Monteray [sic] street and Benton alley. Adopted.

None of the above business except that noted was acted upon in Common Council.

Common Council.

President Slack in the Chair.

Present—Messrs. Blair, Comley, Gilliland, Hanna, Hastings, Kirkpatrick, Krebbs, Kopp, Long, Megraw, McNeill, Ober, Porter, Reineman, Seidle, Tate, Thompson, Voegtly, Warner and President Slack.

Minutes of preceeding [sic] meeting read and approved.

Petitions, Remonstrances, &c.

Mr. Kirkpatrick presented a petition for the grading of Jefferson street, Second Ward, from Shield's alley to Monterey street. Referred to Committee on Streets.

Mr. Krebbs, petition for two gas lamps on Centre street, one corner of Green alley, and between said alley and Spring Garden Run Road.

Referred to Committee on Gas.

Mr. Kirkpatrick, petition for the grading of Sarah street, Second ward.

Referred to Committee on Streets.

Mr. Voegtly, petition asking Councils to rescind action rəlative [sic] to paving of Blossom alley, Fourth ward.

Referred to Committee on Streets.

Mr. Thompson, petition for grading and paving of Page street, Fifth ward. Referred to Committee on Streets.

Mr. Gilliland, petition for grading and paving of Pasture alley. Referred to Committee on Streets.

New Crossing.

Mr. Voegtly offered a resolution instructing the Street Commissioner to have the crossing of Long Lane at its intersection with Ohio street, Third ward. Referred to Committee on Streets.

Mr. Thompson, remonstrance against the grading and paving of Market street, Fifth ward, between Locust and Walnut streets. Referred to the Committee on Streets.

Public Bath House.

Mr. Comley, petition from John Smith, asking for privilege to erect a Public Bath House on the Allegheny river near the Suspension bridge. Referred to the Committee on Wharves and Landings.

Paid Fire Department.

Mr. Tate, resolution instructing the Committee on Fire Engines and Hose to prepare and report at their earliest convenience an ordinance establishing a Paid Fire Department.

Mr. Tate moved to adopt the resolution.

Mr. Warner moved to amend by referring the resolution to the Committee on Fire Engines and Hose. Carried.

Mr. Hastings, a resolution instructing the Street Committee ot have all the stone crossings and culverts already ordered put down before any which shall hereafter be ordered.

The resolution was voted down.

City Printing Again.

Mr. Warner presented the report of the Committee on City Printing, with the following bills for the quarter ending, March 31st:

Gazette, $164 75; Dispatch, $159 75; Freedom's Freund, $159 61; total, $484 21.

The amounts to which these papers would be entitled, according to the old contract, are as follows:

Gazette, $134 94; Dispatch, $134 94; Freedom's Freund, $134 61; total, $404 09.

The difference being $80 the Committee asked for instructions as to what action should be taken.

Mr. Tate moved to receive and file the report. Not seconded.

Mr. Comley moved that the Committee be instructed to pay the larger amount. Not seconded.

Mr. McNeil moved to refer the report back to the Committee with instructions to report a proper amount to be paid.

This motion was seconded.

Mr. Warner said the Committee had asked Councils for instructions. They had decided as the report stated, and could proceed no further without being authorized by Councils.

Mr. Hanna moved to amend by instructing the Committee to pay the bills according to the amount claimed by each paper, and then advertise for proposals for further publishing during the year.

Mr. Hastings seconded the amendment.

The subject was now discussed at great length, and thoroughly exhausted by Messrs. Megraw, Hanna, Long, Warner and Comley.

Mr. Hastings finally offered as an amendment that the Committee on Printing be instructed to pay the city printers three hundred dollars each for their services during the year.

A "Muddle."

This developed a spicy debate between several members, in which the personal qualifications of each for the transaction of business, and the question of city printing become very unhappily blended. A vote was finally taken, which resultəd [sic] in the adoption of the amendment. The chair now decided the question to be on the original motion as amended.

This caused another "muddle," during which personal explanations, motions, counter-motions and amendments were offered extensively. A vote being taken, as directed by the chair, the "motion as amended," was lost, the previous action of Councils in adopting the amendment being thus reversed.

Mr. Comley—Mr. President, where do we stand now? [Laughter.]

President—The whole matter now rests just where we commenced. The Committee are without instructions.

Mr. Megraw—That makes the case more muddled than ever. What are we going to say to the Committee. [Laughter.]

Mr. Long—Mr. President, if the gentleman from the Fourth ward, Mr. McNeill, at this stage of the proceedings, will withdraw his motion, the matter can now be easily arranged by a new motion.

Mr. McNeill—Mr. President, I'll withdraw anything to get the business fixed up. [Laughter.]

Final Action.

Mr. Hastings—Now Mr. President I move that the Committee on Printing be instructed to contract with the City Printers for their services for the present year, at a compensation of $300 each.

This motion was carried, and the question was thus settled satisfactorily.

From Ordinance Committee.

Mr. Comley, Chairman of the Committee on Ordinances, presented a report, accompanied by an ordinance prohibiting the erection of new, or the extending of old oil refineries or storage of oil within the city limits; also, an ordinance requiring railroad companies to build fences along the line of their tracks where a street or alley runs parallel with the same.

The ordinance accompanying the report in reference to the storage of oil having been read, elicited another lengthy discussion, participated in by Messrs. Long, Megraw, Hanna, Hastings, Warner and Comley. The opponents of the ordinance contended that its passage would ruin the oil manufacturing interests in the city. Its advocates claimed that some protection should be accorded to citizens from the dangers in this direction, and that the ordinance only restricted the trade within proper limits.

Mr. Long moved to refer the matter to a special committee of seven, to report a less stringent ordinance at the next meeting.

Mr. Hastings moved to amend, and refer it to the Committee on City Property. Lost.

The question then recurred onthe [sic] original motion. The yeas and nays were called which resulted in its being voted down.

Mr. Long moved to refer the ordinance back to the Ordinance Committee, Lost.

Mr. Megraw moved to adopt the ordinance as read. Carried.

Mr. Megraw moved to suspend the rules, and put it on a final passage. Lost and the ordinance laid over under the rules.

The report of the Committee on Ordinances was then adopted.

The Markets.

Mr. Hanna, from the Committee on Markets, presented the following statement of receipts for the month of April:

Duncan Dallas, Clerk of Markets $2,219 62
J. B. McNulty, Diamond Scales 204 27
Jas. Hunter, Second ward "    211 39
 Total $2,635 28

The following resolutiou [sic] accompanied the report:

Resolved, That the Controller be and he is hereby authorized to certify a warrant for $189, in favor of Messrs. Gally & Matthews, the same being the contract price for planking the yard of the Second Ward Scales.

Report accepted and resolution adopted.

More Light.

Mr. Tate, Chairman of the Committee on Gas, presented the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Superintendent of the Watər [sic] Works be and he is hereby instructed to have lamp posts erected at the corner of Lincoln and Irwin avenues, or at the entrance to the Park in that locality, so as to conform with the line of gas posts in the Park.

Accepted and resolution adopted.

"Friendship" Company Reorganized.

Mr. Megraw, from the Committee on Fire engines and Hose, presented a report setting forth that the Friendship Hose Company, in the Second ward, had been reorganized by the appointment of Benjamin Clark, Foreman, and putting the apparatus in active service.

The Committee also reported that the Fire Alarm Telegraph has been thoroughly overhauled, a new repeater placed in the City Hall, and everything is now in good working order.

Read and accepted.

None of the above business was reached in Select Council.