A GROUP OF FAMILIAR CONVENTION FACES.
Plans Wanted for Spokane.
Civil engineers are to be asked to submit competitive plans for Spokane’s (Wash.) new water system, prizes of $1000. $300 and $200 to be offered for three best plans. An informal session of the city council and Board of Public Works was held the other day to discuss the report of the joint water committee recommending that Riblet & Huber of this city be awarded the contract to prepare plans and specifications for the dam, tail race, power house, etc., for the new water system, and to consider Councilman Currie’s resolution authorizing the Board of Public Works to advertise for bids accompanied by plans. Two hours were spent in discussion. The council was never before so badly split up on the water question. Motions, amendments, and amendments to amendments
were made in quick succession and promptly voted down.
Mr. Currie claimed that his scheme would save forty days time. Mr. Knox said if his grandfather was alive he could settle the dam question in no time. Mr. Graham said the only business proposition was to employ a competent engineer to furnish plans. Mr. Patterson wanted competition. Mr. Witherspoon said the fir-t thing to do was to decide whether the work was to be done by contract or by days’ labor. Mr. Buckly thought there were men in Spokane who could draw the plans, but he thought an expert should be consulted about placing the wheels and applying the power. Mr. Notbohm, who was a millwright for thirty years, made a technical explanation concerning the required size of the wheels, etc., which led Mr. Jones to remark that there seemed to be no need of going outside of the council for a man to draw plans.
Finally, out of motions and amendments innumerable, this proposition was evolved and carried by a bare majority: That the Board of Public Works advertise for twenty days for competitive plans, and that three figures be offered, $1000 for the accepted plans, $300 for the second best plans and $200 for the third ; plans to provide for developing 3500 horse-power.
Engineer Riblet says no plans will be submitted under this proposition by engineers of recognized ability, for the reason that the rules of the Society of American Civil Engineers prohibit competitions of this nature. Neither can a member of the society pass upon plans prepared by a non-mtmbcr. All the engineers of note belong to this society. Ail members are required to have had ten years’ experience.
The council will meet in special session to take further action. The action taken was not binding, the object of the meeting being merely to get the sense of the council.