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Charities and Corrections to do the grading in front of the prison, and to construct the drive-ways, in accordance with plans and specifications, for the sum of $7,250. This work is somewhat connected with the improvement of the highway in front of the prison, and is necessary for the improvement of the approaches to the prison. It seemed very important that it should be done in connection with the grading of the highway, and also desirable that it should be done during the winter season, when the teams and men at the State Farm were not so much needed for other work.
At the time the contract was made, it was hoped that the work could be pushed forward at once, so as to show the extent and character of the improvement at the annual visit of the General Assembly. Accordingly, the State Prison Commission voted to make the contract for doing the work. They were unanimous in the opinion that the work was important, and that it was important that it should be done at an early day, and there seemed to be no other way that it could be done. A sudden change in the weather, however, soon after the contract was made, delayed the commencement of the work, and but little has been accomplished to the present time.
But all must agree with the State Prison Commission, that the erpense of this grading does not properly belong to the expense of building the prison, and should not be charged to the appropriations for that object. The Commission respectfully requests the General Assembly to provide for this work by a special appropriation for it, or by directing that it shall be charged to some other appropriation than that for building the prison.
The preceding remarks upon the items of “work to be done,” make it evident that our estimates of the cost of completing the prison must be larger than was originally contemplated.
But the State Prison Commission believes, and we understand this to be the view of the Board of State Charities and Corrections, that it is for the best interests of the State that the Prison Commission should
continue the work to completion, including all necessary arrangements for the effective working of the prison.
In accordance with these views, the following estimates are given, showing, in detail, the liabilities of the Prison Commission for contracts and engagements now existing, and the amounts necessary to complete the work as described.
The State Prison Commission owes on uncompleted contracts and engagements-or will owe when they are completed--the sum of $11,500, to the following parties:
“The Danforth Locomotive and Machine Company;” “A. R., Whitney; ” “Alexander B. Springer; ” “ Jerome Patterson;" Board of State Charities and Corrections ;” “Stone & Carpenter;” “Walker
"> · ' & Pratt Manufacturing Company;” “R. I. State Prison;” “William Hall & Company;” “ Ernest W. Bowditch;” “Horatio L. Briggs.”
At this date, January 12, 1878, the Prison Commission has a balance of appropriations in the State Treasury, available towards the above liabilities, of $20,832.35. If we deduct this amount from the liabilities named, we have a balance of $20,667.65 to be provided for.
In addition to this sum, there are various other items to be provided for, making the whole estimated amounts necessary, as follows: Balance to be paid on uncompleted contracts....
$20,667 65 Steam apparatus for heating, cooking and power..
15,000 00 Means for heating all the State Farm institutions.
10,000 00 Water supply for all....
5,000 00 Plumbing....
1,500 00 Iron bridges, iron cage and stairs..
5,000 00 Drains and sewers...
2,500 00 Finishing chapel and adjoining rooms.
2,500 00 Cement upper surface of floors..
4,000 00 Furniture, prison, Warden's house, &c..
4,000 00 Incidentals, Painting, &c., &c..
In view of the preceding facts and estimates, the State Prison Commission respectfully ask for an appropriation of eighty thousand dollars. This sum they believe will complete the prison in all its necessary appointments, and with this sum it can be made ready for occupation early in the fall of the present year. In the final report of the
Commission, the portion of this sum that properly belongs to other appropriations, will be carefully shown.
In conclusion, the State Prison Commission would call the attention of the General Assembly to two or three topic3 connected with the administration of their trust:
1. In their last report, the Commission proposed for the sake of economy, to remove the prisoners to the new prison before the first day of January of the present year, and to employ them in building the workshops, and in other work in the prison yard. If this proposition had been approved, the appropriations now asked for would have been about twenty-five thousand dollars less than are now necessary. But this plan was not authorized by the General Assembly, and therefore, the workshops have been built by the Commission, and several months more will be necessary to have the prison ready for occupancy.
2. The failure of a large contractor, and unavoidable delay in procuring material by another contractor, have seriously hindered the progress of the work, during the past year, though aside from this, they brought no pecuniary loss to the State.
3. The amount and quality of the work done on the prison, in 1877, have been highly satisfactory to the Prison Commission. For a less amount of money, a much greater amount of work was accomplished in 1877, than in 1876.
4. The Prison Commission would specially invite the attention of the General Assembly to the thoroughness and solidity of the work done in every part of all the prison buildings. The quality of the stone work has steadily improved from the beginning, so that the walls of the rear of the prison building, of the Warden's house, and of the buildings in the prison yard, present even a better appearance than those of the front of the prison, though no stronger nor more durable.
The aim of the Prison Commission from the beginning of their labors has been to combine thoroughness, strength and durability in all their work, avoiding all expense for mere ornament. In these mat
ters they have been greatly aided by the fidelity of their Superintendent, Mr. Horatio L. Briggs, who, from the beginning of the work until the present time, has had the immediate oversight of the labor upon the buildings, and they cannot close their report without expressing their sense of the value of his services. He has performed his duties to the entire satisfaction of the Commission, and in a manner creditable to himself and to the State. His superintendence has been characterized by great skill, faithfulness and intelligence, by scrupulous integrity and a most careful attention to every detail. As he is soon to leave the service of the State, the Commissioners have felt it due to him thus to place on record this expression of their confidence and esteem.
RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.
The total receipts and expenditures on account of the new State Prison, from the first day of May, 1874, to the twelfth day of January, 1878, inclusive, have been as follows:
Total expenditures in 1874
7,106 31 129,604 12 117,666 36 110,051 05
Total expenditures to January 12, 1878.... Balance in the State Treasury, January 12, 1878..
Of the total expenditures, from the beginning of the prison to the present time, the sum of $53,188.37 has been paid to the Board of State Charities and Corrections, for labor, and use of teams and implements. This amount is nearly one-seventh of the total expense, thus far, of the prison.
A detailed statement of the receipts and expenditures during the past year, will be found in the Appendix.
EDWIN M. SNOW, Chairman.
State Prison Commission.