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A good band of 19 pieces, 11 members and 8 civilians, was maintained during the year, at a cost, including subsistence and other allowances to the civilian members, of $5,702. They gave 229 concerts, 110 of which were out of doors, or about $24 per concert. The selections were both classical and patriotic, and were greatly enjoyed by the members as well as by a goodly number of civilians, who drive out from town to hear them. The civilian band men receive an average compensation of $19 per month and are quartered in the Anderson building.
The sum of $414.32 was expended for 18 performances in the theater. There were also three free performances given. No admission is charged to anyone. Civilians are admitted to a limited extent and only on invitation of the managers of the companies playing. The performances are, as a rule, well attended.
The condition of the library appeared good, and at the date of the inspection it contained 7,545 volumes, an increase for the year of 176. About 22,500 volumes were circulated during the year, and books of fiction and history, such as Alice of Old Vincennes, David Harum, Who Goes ThereThe Baron's Sons, History of the United States, The Philippine Islands, and the American Cruiser in the East, were said to be in the most demand. Books are issued from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m. daily, except Sunday, and they are to be returned in ten days, but a renewal can be had. The binding shows careful usage, and there is good practical use for the bookbinder who is employed. If books are lost or destroyed, they have to be paid for by the borrower. The seating capacity of the reading room and library is about 80, and the average daily attendance is approximately 212.
RELIGI US SERVICES.
Three services are held each Sunday by the Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Lutheran chaplains. They are reported to be well attended.
The accounts and disbursements of the Treasurer from July 1, 1900, to June 30, 1901, were inspected and the amounts involved may be summarized as follows:
There appears to be a feeling that the $40,000 or more of pension money constantly on hand should not draw interest like most of the funds not in use. Its idleness does not seem to make it safer or more honestly administered.
This year's expenditures in the Home fund are $30,891.32 less than during the same period last year, possibly due to the fact that the expenditures for special construction were not so large, though the final payments on the contracts for the new stables, amounting to $28,390.91, and on the greenhouse $25,151.74, a total of $53,542.62, have been made during the year. Over $10,000 were spent on the roads in macadamizing, painting bridges, grading and paving, and including also the purchase of one 5-ton road roller, which has long been needed.
The payments made in cash from the Home fund by the treasurer this year appear to have reached the sum of $80,943.55, and is $11,697.25 in excess of those reported for the same period last year. This cash is obtained by the treasurer, with the exception of a small amount accruing from sales and collections, on checks drawn to his order, and is mostly disbursed on pay rolls in payment of services of employees. A small amount of cash is habitually kept on hand in a cash box in the office safe, from which payments are also made from time to time. The average per capita cost for the year in the various subheads was reported as follows: Subsistence
47.85 Current expenses. Hospital.....
24. 73 Farm..
12. 31 Repairs.
15. 60 Total .....
211.86 The average cost of maintaining a man at the Volunteer Home for the year 1900 is given as $130.91, and on outdoor relief from these funds $84.
The pension payments this year show an increase of $5,254.47 over last year, and the number of pensioners on the rolls is reported as 676, an increase of 50 since July 1, 1900. Three hundred and eightyfour dollars of this fund was transferred to the Home fund under the
law of March 3, 1883, which provides that the balances escheat to the Home if unclaimed by heirs three years after the death of the pensioner.
On June 30 the balance in the pension fund amounted to $50,595.95, which pertained to 335 pensioners, 221 of whom had less than $100; 89 had $100 and less than $500; 19 had between $500 and $1,000, and 6 had over $1,000. Twelve pensioners were transferred to the insane asylum and they had to their credit $6,658.
The following statement shows the transactions in both the permanent fund and the interest account from October 1, 1896, to June 30, 1901. The balance in the permanent fund on the latter date was $2,820,567.39, and is the largest sum shown. During the fiscal year just completed the settlements made by the Treasury Department have credited to this fund from the different accruing sources the sum of $511,825.71, and there have been withdrawals by the Home of $248,000, thus leaving an increased balance at the end of the year of $263,825.71. The interest on the present balance at 3 per cent, the rate paid by the Treasury, will nearly support the Home, on a basis of last year's expenditures, for one quarter.
The balance in the interest account was $20,883.11 on June 30, 1901. The amount drawn for current expenses seems to have more than doubled since 1897.
Balance Oct. 1
$2,690, 042.83 82, 711, 124.52 82, 737,597.95 $2,725, 740.08 $2,582, 016. 81 Balance July 1. Credit settlement.
$2,556, 741.68 145, 700.49 134, 256.23 109, 142.13 40, 676.73 228,724. 87 511, 825.71 Total..... 2,835, 743.32 2,845, 380.75 2,846, 740.08 2,766, 416.81 2, 810, 741. 68 3,068,567.39 Drawn for current expenses
124, 618.80 107, 782.80 121,000.00 184,400.00 254,000.00 248,000.00 Balance Sept. 30 ... 2,711, 124,52 2,737, 597.95 2,725, 740.08 2,582,016.81 Balance June 30
2,556, 741. 68 2, 820,567.39
The books, vouchers, records, etc., of the treasurer's office were found to be in an accurate, neat, and up to date condition. An effort has been made since the last inspection to divorce the checks pertaining to the Home and pension funds, but a step further might be taken and not complicate the pension account with the payments made to members on outdoor relief. The latter expenditure pertains directly to the Home fund, and as the pension payments have nothing in common with it, possibly it would be better to use a check book exclusively for the latter.
The vouchers for the expenditures are now audited in the office of the Quartermaster-General, and it is learned that abstracts of expenditures are made for each of the different subheads, such as purchases,
services, outdoor relief, permanent improvements, etc., and that a consolidated abstract is also made embracing practically the same figures. This seems a duplication of clerical work and it is not seen why the consolidated abstract, with columns for the subheads and possibly a column added to show the nature of the expenditure, would not contain the information in sufficient detail to facilitate the auditing of the voucher. In the Volunteer Homes where there are eight or more subheads to the appropriations one abstract is deemed sufficient, and the vouchers are checked from it by the accounting officers of the Treasury Department. If these Home accounts can be made for the same time and in a similar manner to that habitual for public moneys, say in the Pay Department, it would facilitate inspections, and it seems this is to be done.
It is understood that the Home authorities have decided to bring their fiscal year to a close on June 30 of each year instead of September 30. This will make their accounts and records conform to the recognized custom in the Government and is in line with recommendations from this office for some time back.
Statement giving an analysis of the disbursements in the Home fund, by months.
The following table exhibits the average present, the cost of running expenses, the per capita cost, the average cost of a ration per day per man, and the amount expended for new buildings and permanent improvements for the past ten years. It will be observed that with the exception of the years 1899 and 1900 (the part year 1901 not considered) there has been a progressive reduction in both the per capita on the running expenses and the cost of the ration, and that the cost per man dropped from $263.63 in 1892 to $220.62 in 1898, a difference of $43.01 per man, and the average cost of a ration per day from $0.2052 in 1892 to $0.15 in 1898, or a reduction of 25 per cent.
The amount expended on new buildings and permanent improvements in 1900 is over three times as much as in any other year shown, and is accounted for by the additions to the hospital, King Building, new stables, greenhouse, and other minor improvements.
The increase apparent in the price of the ration is due, no doubt, to the enhanced price of provisions and other necessaries.
There has been a reduction of 21 in the number receiving outdoor relief since June 30, 1900, possibly due to dropping the beneficiaries from the roll, on evidence tending to show that they were able to support themselves. Seldom can an institution of this kind permit unrestricted admission to its benefits. It is the policy of the Home authorities to address a communication each year to all on outdoor relief, requesting information on several subjects. Among the questions asked are the amount of pension or increase received during the year, whether employed and at what and the salary received, the financial condition, etc. From this information an adjustment of the amount to be paid as outdoor relief is made, and if it is considered that they have ample means of support some are dropped altogether. The payment ranges from $2 to $8 per month, with an average of $7. The number now receiving this benefit was 407, to whom were paid $34,640.93 for the year. For further information on this subject, see Exhibits D 1 and D 2, in the appendix.
The small comparative table below shows the average daily number of employees and the amount paid ìor their services during the years 1900 and 1901:
No. Amount. No. Amount. No. Amount. No. Amount. No. Amount.
3 $3,079.34 3 $2,975.82 3 $2,456.19 3 $3,286.82 3 $3,286.82 28 4,802.60 28 4,860.40 28 3,895.00 30
4,072.60 28 3,988.50 186 24, 280.40 190 24, 523.70 164 18, 392.61 190 22,480.75 194 22,872.65
58 27,260.35 60 27,876.60 68 21,560.00 128 48,796.63 132 50, 233. 35
It seems since 1897 the number of employees has increased 82, or 23 per cent, and the amount paid per annum $20,958.63, or 26 per cent. The average amount paid to each employee is over 20 per cent higher than at the Volunteer Homes.