From Pittsburgh Streets

"Allegheny Councils: Regular meeting—resignation of the City Controller—a successor appointed—appropriations for the year 1872—the Federal street extension revived—a new basin contemplated—the proposed Riverside Park—a schindery to be established—report of the Park Commission." Pittsburgh Commercial, Feb. 9, 1872, [p. 4]. 85458414.

Regular Meeting—Resignation of the City Controller—A Successor Appointed—Appropriations for the Year 1872—The Federal Street Extension Revived—A New Basin Contemplated—The Proposed Riverside Park—A Schindery to be Established—Report of the Park Commission.

Allegheny Councils held a regular monthly meeting last evening in the City Building.


This branch was called to order at half-past seven o'clock by the President, Mr. McBrier. Roll called and minutes read and approved.

Mr. Huckenstine, who was absent at the first meeting, was now sworn in.

The following petitions, resolutions, etc., were presented: Petition for a sewer on Lacock street between School and Corry streets; referred to Committee on Streets and Sewers. Petition for the opening of an alley between Ridge and Lincoln avenues, running from Ruch alley to Grant avenue; Survey Committee. Petition for a gas lamp corner Anderson street and Stockton avenue; referred. Petitton [sic] for the widening of Middle alley ten feet, five on each side, from North avenue to Sampson street; Survey Committee. Duplicate of petition praying for the appointment of a Gas Inspector; Gas Committee. Petition for a sewer on Sandusky street; Committee on Streets and Sewers. Petition from the citizens of the Ninth ward for the construction of a sewer at Wood's Run; Committee on Streets and Sewers. Petition for the opening, location and grading of Spruce street from the railroad to the Ohio river; Survey Committee. Petition for changing the name of Locust street, Third ward; referred to Street Committee with instruction to report an ordinance. Petition for the paving of Market street; Street Committee. Petition for water pipe on Page street; Water Committee.

Mr. Huckenstine read the report of viewers on the opening of Sheffield street from Beaver avenue to the Ohio river. The report was referred to the Survey Committee with instructions to appoint another set of viewers.

Resignation of the Controller.

Mr. Thompson presented the resignation of Mr. Porter as City Controller, to take effect March 1st.

Mr. Thompson moved that the resignation be accepted.

Mr. Riddle said he was not prepared to vote. He thought Councils could persuade the Controller to continue in office if his resignation was not accepted.

Mr. Thompson said he had just seen the controller, and that gentleman had told him that he would insist on the acceptance of his resignation.

The resignation, after some complimentary remarks on the faithfulness of the Controller, by a number of members, was accepted.

City Finances.

Mr. Riddle presented the report of the Controller, showing the expenditures for the month of January, of ʍhich [sic] the following is a


No.  1—Salaries $ 1,802 12
No.  3—Fire Department 2,756 81
No.  4—Printing 1,210 68
No.  5—Streets 1,909 72
No.  6—Wharves 30 54
No.  8—Police 3,586 83
No.  9—Contingent 569 56
No. 11—Water Works 6,651 93
No. 13—Gas 4,423 20
No. 16—City Property 239 22
Total $23,180 61

The report was adopted, and warrants ordered to be drawn for the payment of the several bills.

Mr. Riddle, chairman of the Finance committee, also presented the following report. The committee reported that they had under consideration the necessity of procuring legislation to enable the city to issue Water Bonds to the amount of $100,000 to meet the expenditures already authorized in improving and increasing the capacity of the present water works, and submitted a draft of an act authorizing the isssuing [sic] of the bonds. The committee had also before them the draft of an act providing for the payment of all taxes into the office of the Treasurer, and also for putting at interest the unexpended balances. A resolution authorizing the payment of $361 25 to Verner, Carson & Co., for repaving of Webster street was also presented.

Appropriations for the Year.

Mr. Riddle also presented the appropriation ordinance for the year. The ordinance provides that a tax of twelve mills be assessed for city purposes, five mills for sewers, three for the poor, and one mill on the amount of the annual sales of all goods, wares and merchandise sold within the city limits whether by auction or otherwise, provided the sales exceed one thousand dollars. The ordinance then allows the following appropriations:

No.  1. Salaries $32,065 00
No.  2. Interest 20,240 00
No.  3. Fire Department 38,000 00
No.  4. Printing 4,000 00
No.  5. Streets 28,000 00
No.  6. Wharves 5,000 00
No.  7. Surveys 1,000 00
No.  8. Police 42,000 00
No.  9. Contingent fund 28,052 25
No. 11. Water Works 30,000 00
No. 12. Outstanding warrants 103 11
No. 13. Gas 17,000 00
No. 14. Sinking fund 35,178 27
No. 15. Interest on wharf bonds 1,960 00
No. 16. City property 8,000 00
No. 17. Sanitary matters 1,701 42
No. 18. Special for maturing bonds 2,000 00
Total $294,300 18

Estimated Receipts.

City taxes $103,347 00
Business tax 14,000 00
Water rents 115,000 00
Markets 16,000 00
Weigh scales 8,000 00
Wood and park 496 00
Vehicle license 10,000 00
Board measuring 450 00
Fines and forfeitures 2,400 00
Sale of ferrules 2,000 00
Lot regulations 1,350 00
Ground rents 2,404 34
Railroads 5,460 00
Wharves and landings 2,875 00
Due from various persons 10,517 84
$294,300 18

The ordinance was, on motion, passed finally.

The same gentleman offered an ordinance fixing the salary of the City Treasurer at $3,500, and increasing the salary of the Chief Engineer of the Fire Department to $1,200, and the Engineer of the Water Works at $1,400. The ordinance was passed finally.

Also, the supplement of an act authorizing the issue of water bonds to the amount of $100,000. Approved.

Also, the draft of an act relative to the depositaries of the city money. Referred to Finance Committee.

The Streets.

Mr. J. C. Patterson, from the Street Committee submitted a report:

Relative to a change of grade of Lombard street the Committee decided to make no change. In relation to the petition of James J. Simpson, asking a reduction of his assessment for cost of sewer on Western avenue, a portion of which having passed through his private property, the Committee presented a resolution authorizing a reduction of one-half of his assessment. The committee also had under consideration the propriety of enacting a supplement to the present bill, providing for the improvement of the Troy Hill road, and the Committee drew up the supplement and asked Council to approve it.

The following ordinances accompanied the report:

An ordinance providing for re-paving and re-grading of Bidwell street.

An ordinance for opening a forty foot street, connecting Lombard and Federal streets.

An ordinance for a sewer on Park Way from Federal street 130 feet west.

The report was received and ordinances passed finally.

Mr. Patterson also presented profiles of grade for High, Filbert and Lager streets. Approved.

Also profiles of grade of streets on Troy Hill. Approved. Also revised report of viewers on the opening of Beuna [sic] Vista street. Report confirmed. Also report of viewers on the opening of Locust street. Received.

Mr. Thompson, from the Committee on City Property, submitted a report accompanied with a resolution authorizing the Committee to place guards around all the trees surrounding City Hall square, the same to be of style, and according to plans prepared by the City Engineer.

The report was received and resolution adopted.

Mr. Sweeney presented an act providing for the extension of Western avenue to Jack's Run. Referred to Survey Committee.

Also, an act providing for the extension of Federal street. Same Committee.

Also, a resolution instructing the City Engineer to prepare plans and establish grades of streets in the Ninth ward. Adopted.

Also, a resolution instructing the Survey Committee to report an ordinance for the straightening of Spruce street. Carried.

Looking for a Site.

Mr. Huckenstine, a resolution instructing the Water Committee to ascertain at what price property on Lowry Hill, suitable for a water basin, can be obtained. Adopted.

Another Federal Street Act.

Mr. Riddle presented the draft of an act relative to the opening of Federal street. Referred to Street Committee in conjunction with the Survey Committee.

Mr. Riddle offered an ordinance restoring the name of Western avenue. Considerable discussion ensued, when the President found an ordinance of the same character lying on his desk, which had been offered in the Common Branch, and had the indorsement "Adopted." Select Council then concurred in this action, and thus the name of "West Ohio street" was changed to Western avenue.

The River Side Park.

Mr. Schoyer, a resolution referring the matter of constructing a Riverside Park to the Park Commission. Adopted.

Mr. Riddle, a resolution instructing the City Engineer to lay out the necessary streets on Observatory hill and to prepare the necessary plans and profiles. Adopted.

The President read the call for the convention to be held in Cincinnati to consider the Ohio river improvement, and asking that delegates be appointed to attend the convention.

Mr. Megraw said that the Mayor had already appointed delegates to attend.

Mr. Patterson thought it would be more appropriate for Councils to appoint delegates, and moved that the Presidents of Councils appoint the delegates. Carried.

Select Council then took up business from Common Council and concurred in all actions of that body, except where noted in the Common Council proceedings.

Select Council then repaired to the Common Council chamber, where a joint session was held, for the purpose of electing a City Controller. After the joint session Select Council returned to their chamber, and adjourned without transacting any further business.


Common Council was called to order at seven and a half o'clock by President Slack. Roll called and minutes read and approved.

The following petitions &c. were presented: Petition for the reduction of the width of Market street; Survey Committee. Petition for the grading of an alley running from Howard to East street; same reference. Remonstrance against the change of the name of Western avenue; Street Committee. Petition from the citizens of the Second ward, asking the refunding of the assessment for the opening of Taylor avenue; Street Committee. Petition for the improvement of the Allegheny wharf; Wharf Committee. Petition for the grading of Fulton street; Survey Committee. Petition for changing the name of South alley to South street; Street Committee. Resolution for a gas main in Buena Vistastreet [sic]; Gas Committee.

Mr. McNeill presented a resolution giving all apprentices in this city the use of the library gratuitously. Adopted. In Select Council not acted on, as Councils now have no jurisdiction over the Library.

Petition for a Schindery.

Mr. Walter presented a petition from Messrs. Huchel & Zensler, asking the privilege of establishing a schindery in the Ninth ward. Referred to Police Committee.

Mr. Hastings, an ordinance requiring pawn brokers to take out a license, the license not to exceed twenty dollars. The rules were suspended and ordinance passed finally.

Mr. Hastings, an ordinance repealing the ordinance changing the name of Western avenue to West Ohio street. Passed finally. Select Council concurred.

City Revenues.

Mr. Knox, from the Market Committee, presented the report of the committee showing that the receipts for the past month from markets were $1,553 90; Second ward scales, $412 52; Diamond scales, $317 06; total $2,283 48. The report was received and adopted.

Mr. Gilleland, Chairman of the Printing Committee, presented a report accompanied with a resolution authorizing the controller to contract with the official newspapers at the rate of $4 50 per annum for printing ordinances, and 75 cents per square for every square for first insertion of all official advertising, and half rates for subsequent insertions of the same. The report was received and resolution adopted.

Mr. Brown, from the Committee on Gas, presented a report, accompanied with a resolution recommending that gas lamps be placed at the following points: On High street, three lamps; on Lowrie street, eleven lamps; on Overhill street, two lamps. The report was received and resolution adopted.

Mr. McNeill presented an Act of Assembly, providing for an equitable division of property between the Allegheny County Home and the Directors of the Poor for the City of Allegheny. The act was approved, and on motion of Mr. McNeill, the Clerk was instructed to forward the Act to Harrisburg.

The Parks.

Mr. McNeill presented the report of the Park Commission.

Your Board of Park Commissioners would respectfully call the attention of your honorable bodies to the almost entire completion of that portion of the Park included in the act creating the Commission. Under that act your Commissioners were authorized to issue bonds to the amount of $200,000, the proceeds of which were to be used for paying expenses connected with the common grounds, outside of the Seminary purchase, which was not included. Subsequent legislation was obtained, and an additional $100,000 of bonds authorized to be issued, the same to be used exclusively for the hill improvement.

It is scarcely necessary to refer to the numerous attractions already completed in the Park. One improvement after another has been finished, until now we have an array that compares favorably with any other Park in the country. The lakelet, with its tiny craft and fishes, the various fountains, of almost every size, shape and design, sprinkled over the grounds. The Soldiers' Monument, the Hampton and Humboldt memorials, the rustic bridge and pavilion, and lastly the nearly completed handsome iron foot bridge over the railroad in the West Park, are sufficient attractions within themselves to gratify our pride and afford enjoyment to our citizens.

In conducting these improvements and maintaining the same, more money was expended than was originally appropriated. Your Commissioners are of opinion that if the cost of maintaining the Park had not been added to the items of construction, the original appropriation would have been ample. As the matter now stands your Commissioners need considerable more money to finish the balance of the work and pay bills already contracted.

The Hill bonds amounting to $100,000 have been prepared, and the issue of $10,000 of the same legalized by your Honorable bodies, all of which has been expended. Your Commissioners have not decided to enter upon the work of improving the hill, believing ihat [sic] it would be better to first complete the balance of the improvement. To do the latter requires more money and necessitates one of two things. Get additional legislation authorizing a further issue of original bonds, or have an amendment made to the act which provides for the issue of Hill bonds, so that the proceeds of the same can be used for the purpose stated. The latter course has been agreed upon by your Commissioners, and the act so amended is herewith reported for your approval.

For information of Councils, the following statement, showing the financial affairs of the Board is submitted:

Dr. Cr.
To net proceeds $139,000 in bonds sold $134,008 33
To receipts from taxes and transfers from the city for improving squares 117,754 99
By total expenditures for construction, &c. $221,243 76
By total amount paid for interest 13,641 16
By bonds redeemed 9,000 00
By balance on hand 7,878 40
$251,763 32 $251,763 32
Total bonds issued including the $10,000 "second issue" $139,000 00
Total bonds redeemed 9,000 00
Total bonds outstanding $130,000 00
Total receipts 251,763 32
Total expenditures 243,884 92

Thanking your Honorable bodies for your wisdom in providing for this great public benefaction, believing that in future those who have been identified and connected with our Public Park will be gratefully remembered, we remain with great respect.

H. McNeill,
President, pro tem.

J. R. Oxley, Secretary.

The report was received and adopted.

Accompanying the report was an Act of Assembly providing that the park bonds issued for the improvement of Monument Hill, be appropriated for the improvement of the Parks. On motion the act was approved and the Clerk instructed to forward a copy to Harrisburg.

Report of the Temporary Board of Health.

Mr. McNeill, from the Special Committee on Board of Health, submitted the following statement:

Total appropriation $6,000 00
 "  Expenditures up to date $5,583 85
 "  Bills approved, but not paid $278 25— $5,862 10
$137 90

The report was accompanied with a resolution that a standing committee of nine be appointed, to consist of one member of Council from each ward, five from the Common and four from the Select Branch of Councils, said committee to be known as the Committee on Health, and shall have all the powers and perform all the duties heretofore belonging to the Board of Health.

The report was received and resolution adopted.

Mr. Hastings, Chairman of the Committee on Fire Engine Engines and Hose, presented a report accompanied with a resolution, authorizing the Committee on City Property, in connection with the Committee on Fire Engines, to have plans, etc., prepared for a new engine house for the Columbia Engine Company, Fourth ward, and report the same with the estimated cost of the building, and also to select a more suitable location than the present site of the old building.

The report was received and resolution adopted.

In Select Council the resolution was referred to the Committee on City property. Common Council adhered to their action and appointed Messrs. Hastings, Jones and Fisher a Committhe [sic] on Conference. No further action in Select Council.

Mr. Grubbs, a resolution for a fire plug at the corner of Margaret alley and Federal street. Water Committee.

Common Council then took up business from Select Council and concurred in all actions of that body.

Joint Session.

Common Council then met in joint session with Select Council. Mr. McBrier presided.

The President stated that the object of the Joint Session was to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Mr. Porter.

Mr. Megraw nominated James Brown, and Mr. Moul nominated A. N. Burchfield.

On motion the nominations closed. The roll was then called, when Mr. Brown received thirty-four votes and Mr. Burchfield four. Mr. Brown was declared elected, after which the Joint Session adjourned.