PROTECTION IN NEW YORK CITY INADEQUATE.
The fire protection of New York city, having been declared inadequate by Fire Commissioner Lantry, he calls for a bond issue of $3,709,500 for the purchase of sites for, and erecting fire stations and for necessary additions and alterations. The commissioner says that the expenditure is due to the “wonderful development of the greater city,” and the fact that, where formerly volunteer fire departments could do the work easily, there are now populations of cities. Numerous petitions for better fire protection have been presented from these sections and Deputy Commissioner Bonner indorses these statements. The latter in his report states the sum already given will be divided thus: For sites and buildings, $3,332,000; for alterations to buildings already in use, $377,500—total, $3,709,500. Deputy Commissioner Bonner adds: “The necessity for this appropriation, covering the various items, is well known, as the lines of improvements passed the department several years ago. and we are now, at the present time, far behind such improvements, which necessarily entails a great risk and is liable at any time to result in a serious canflagration in any one of those sections where the department has not kept pace with the line of improvements, owing to the absence of proper fire protection. We have endeavored to cope with those conditions and. as far as lies in our power, to keep abreast of such improvements by increasing the assignments of fire companies to cover such territory; but, owing to distance of such companies from the lines of improvements, they are of but little account in extinguishing fires when they arrive at the scene, owing to the time elapsing between the reception of the alarm and thir arrival at the point required. There are no means at hand or within the power of the department to render better service than is now being afforded to those sections which arc so much in need of more adequate fire protection. There are water, gas and sewers in the streets on the lines of those improvements, which conditions place the matter entirely up to the fire department to render oroper fire protection, which is an utter impossibility with the available means at hand, and I advise you that the risk is a very great one that will end disastrously unless immediate action is taken in the purchase of sites, the erection of buildings and the organisation of companies so that they will be on the line if not ahead of such improvements. The policy of waiting until a neighborhood is fully built up and then endeavoring to obtain a site is often taken advantage of by increasing the valuation of such land when required for city uses T would suggest that, even where buildings cannot be erected during any one vear. a certain number of sites be” purchased abreast of. or ahead, if possible, of all such improvements, which will prevent any exorbitant prices being paid in the future for sites that may be required for fire department uses. Sites can be purchased ahead of the line of improvements at reasonable figures; but. when neglected or delayed until the line of improvements is abreast of or ahead of the department then the valuations jump in some cases more than double when it becomes known that the necessity exists for the purchase of land in that particular vicinity.” For Manhattan is recommended for the purchase additional new sites in locations not yet designated, and erection of buildings thereon $250,000; two sites for workshops, stables and storage-room for telegraph bureau and branch of superintendent of buildings, $50,000: erection of buildings thereon, $75,000; completion of new wing at headquarters. $50,000: new building for stables on site owned bv department on Chrvstie street. $30,000. In addition, sites are to be provided for eleven sites for buildings: the erection of seven buildings; and alterations to quarters of eleven enginehouses and three book and ladder companies, each with equipment. In The Bronx are to be erected two sites, one to be bought for a school of instruction, and (4 lots) for branch telegraph bureau, repair shops and veterinary stables. There are also to be purchased nineteen new sites: fourteen new buildings are to be erected: and companv quarters to be altered at a cost of $25,000. There will be expended in the above ways. $2.243.000—i. e.. $t.193.000 in the borough of Manhattan, and $1.050.000 in that of The Bronx. In Brooklyn and Queens the expenditures will be as follows: Sites to the number of twenty-two are to be acquired, and twenty-four new buildings—one in the rear of Brooklyn headquarters building at a total cost of $1,468,500. The equipment, which will be for engine companies, truck companies, a water tower, repair and telegraph shops, etc., will, of course, be extra.