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To His Excellency, WM. B. BATE, Governor of the State of Tennessee :
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith my report as superintendent of the capitol building, grounds, etc. The last General Assembly appropriated $500 to repair the roof, walks on same, and to paint the tower. The said repairs on the roof and painting were done, the walk from the south end to the tower was made entirely new, but shortly thereafter it was torn completely off by a severe storm, requiring additional expense to replace it. This work exhausted the appropriation thus made. The same General Assembly appropriated $300 to make a gas sewer or escape from the water closet, and for other repairs to this part of the building. This work was done as directed under the supervision of the Secretary of the State Board of Health, and exhausted this appropriation. The vouchers for the payments made under these two appropriations are on file in the comptroller's office. The water supply is and has been very unsatisfactory and unreliable for five or six months during the past summer and fall, and now we have no water at the building from the city reservoir, our entire supply being brought by hand from hydrants in the lower part of the city, which is a great inconvenience. The cisterns should be repaired. They leak badly. I have found it necessary in order to keep the building in proper repair, especially the heating and lighting departments, to incur the indebtedness indicated by the two bills herewith submitted: Phillips, Buttorf & Co.........
.$ 69 25 Ryan & Shea......
$106 85 The appropriation for repairs, etc., having been exhausted, these bills remain unpaid.
The proper care and attention to the building and grounds require an additional porter and a day watchman. The three porters now employed are kept constantly busy, and are unable to keep the building clean. The great number of visitors to the grounds and building at all times make it necessary that an efficient day watchman be employed. Nuisances are constantly committed, and the
building daily defaced and abused for the want of such watchman. Mr. Malloy, the night watchman, is most efficient and attentive, and looks well to every interest of the place while he is on duty, and is of greatly more value to the State than the small wages paid him. His services are worth more than he receives ($30 per month). He comes on duty at 5 o'clock p. m. and remains until 6 o'clock a.
As much is now done in this matter as is practicable with the force at command, and the increased force suggested is urged as a necessity.
Notwithstanding what has been done, it has not been enough to preserve the building. The roof still leaks, and needs overhauling and to be thoroughly repaired as a matter of self-preservation. The water closet is still in a bad condition, and a source of unhealthfulness to the building. Something should be done to suppress, if possible, the gas that comes through it into the building, from the sewers of the city below that connect with the sewer to this, and through which passes, by reason of the elevation, these gases into and through the building.
The entire building is greatly in need of repairs, and should receive the earnest consideration of the General Assembly, both because for self-preservation, and to present to the general public an appearance in keeping with its magnitude. The building and grounds are too imposing and valuable to be allowed to rust or decay.
The last General Assembly only appropriated $5,000, or $2,500 per annum to capitol expense account, which amount included everything, fuel, lights, porters' hire, night watchman, gardener, and all other incidental expense. The several items, night watchman, porters and gardener, amount to $1,980 per annum, leaving only $520 for all other necessary contingent expenses. This, it will be clearly seen, does not, and can not, meet the demands of the situation. It would be practice of a best possible oconomy for the State to put the building once in good condition and require that it shall be so kept. The appropriation made last session has been most economically and judiciously expended, and for all of which expenditures vouchers are filed with the Comptroller. With great respect, your obedient servant,
HAYDEN MARCH, Superintendent of Capitol and Capitol Grounds. December 19, 1884.
Commissioners of the Watkins Institute,
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE.
JANUARY 1, 1885.