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I can give you the exact figures on the personnel, if you desire same, and also data as to the postal receipts, and so forth.
DATA ON POSTAL RECEIPTS, MAIL HANDLED, NUMBER OF PERSONNEL, ETC.
Mr. Woodrum. I wish you would put in the record a statement showing the number of employees, the volume of mail, the postal receipts, and any other information that will give the committee some useful information on that subject.
Mr. PURDUM. We will do that.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, the postal receipts of the New York City post office approximate one-tenth of the postal receipts of the entire Nation, and this year it is believed that the postal receipts will be far greater than any year in the history of the country.
(The statement above referred to is as follows:)
Grand Central Station of the post office of New York, N. Y., is one of the most important postal units in that city.
Its location in conjunction with the terminal facilities of the New York Central Railroad, and the New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad, permits economical and expeditious handling of the mail. It has been estimated by officials of the New York post office that the direct contact with the railroad afforded by the present location represents a saving to the Department of about a half-million dollars a year over a location not having this direct contact.
In addition to its importance as a mail distribution unit, Grand Central Station serves a territory that is considered second in importance in New York City only to the Wall Street financial section.
The following statistics are indicative of the size and importance of this unit: Postal receipts calendar year 1936.
$6, 773, 375 Number of domestic money orders paid, calendar year 1936
26, 308 Number of international money orders paid, calendar year 1936.
481 Number of domestic money orders issued, calendar year 1936
209, 253 Number of international money orders issued, calendar year 1936... 12, 412 Number of pieces of registered mail handled, 1936.
359, 167 Number of C. 0. D. parcels handled, 1936.
247, 691 Number of insured parcels handled, 1936.
826, 209 Number of pieces of first-class outgoing letters handled daily
1, 200, 000 Number of outgoing parcel-post packages daily
60, 000 Number of incoming parcel-post packages daily
50, 000 The personnel at Grand Central Station: Supervisors.
1, 843 Carriers..
2, 462 Mr. PURDUM. I might say, Mr. Chairman, that the Treasury Department and our Department had a very thorough engineering and architectural survey and investigation, made by most efficient engineers and architects, to ascertain what remodeling and changes would be necessary. We will give you an amplified statement of the postal receipts, as you have suggested, but the postal receipts for the Grand Central Station for the calendar year 1935 amounted to $6,219,809, and for the calendar year 1936 to $6,773,375, or an increase in 1 year of $554,000.
Mr. WOODRUM. And that is still keeping up?
Mr. Martin. The important feature of that particular station is its location over the tracks of the New York Central Railroad, which allows a direct transfer of the mail from the station platform to the building and vice versa.
Mr. PURDUM. I think the record shows that this postal unit has been in that particular building approximately 27 years.
Mr. MARTIN. Also, it may be noted for the record that the original legislation authorizing the purchase of this building contemplated remodeling, and the language so stated.
INCREASE IN LIMIT OF COST OF VINITA, OKLA., POST OFFICE AND COURT
Mr. WOODRUM. Tell us about the increase from $78,000 to $218,000 for Vinita, Okla., which is a sizeable increase.
Mr. Martin. That is to provide additional space for the Federal court authorized to be held at Vinita. The initial limit of cost contemplated only a post-office building. Since then the Department of Justice has requested court quarters at that place, which will require an increase of $140,000 to provide a three-story building, which is Dow contemplated.
Mr. LUDLOW. After the Department of Justice requests you to provide court quarters at these different places, do they hold court there?
Mr. Martin. We find that the Department of Justice does not request space for court quarters unless they intend to make good use of it.
Mr. TABER. How big a town is this?
Mr. PURDUM. We can get you those figures in a moment. In the 1936 calendar year they amounted to $31,736. The population according to the census of 1930 was 4,263.
SPACE FOR EMERGENCY AGENCIES NOT PROVIDED IN PROPOSED NEW
Mr. Woodrum. To what extent do these various projects where you are increasing the limit of cost because of the increased floor space requirements provide for the emergency organizations that may not be with us later on?
Admiral PEOPLES. None, Mr. Chairman. In none of these new buildings has any space been provided especially for any emergency agency. On the contrary, all those requests have been turned down.
In some places where old buildings have been available an emergency agency has been permitted to occupy tenancy to save their rent.
But in the new building it has only been for permanent agencies where space is provided. That has been the rule that has been followed in the three preceding programs.
AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR INCREASE IN LIMIT OF COSTS
Mr. Woodrum. In this list we have been discussing, where there has been an increase in the limit of cost, and you are asking for additional funds and additional authority to increase the cost, limiting the amount, the funds necessary in 1938 will be 6 million dollars plus?
Admiral PEOPLES. Yes, sir.
Mr. WOODRUM. And you expect to use all of that in 1938?
Mr. Martin. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman, because in most cases these projects have passed the site stage and are now.up to drawing stage.
Mr. WOODRUM. That 6 million dollars is part of the 23 million dollars plus estimated for by the Treasury Department?
Mr. MARTIN. Yes, sir. İhat comes out of the 23 million dollars.
In the first deficiency act, approved February 9, 1937, an increase of one million and thirty thousand dollars was authorized for the Los Angeles courthouse, and that job is under contract, so you can see the large amounts will, without question, be used in 1938.
The Grand Central Station remodeling is nearing the marketing stage now.
AMOUNT REQUESTED FOR INCREASE IN LIMIT OF COST UNDER 10- AND
Mr. WOODRUM. How much did you say was involved in the project where you have, under authority given you, increased the limit of cost? What is the gross amount there?
Admiral PEOPLES. We are asking for $500,000, but that does not include any of these lists. That is to take care of the large over-run which heretofore we have found averaged about 7.2 or 7.3 percent.
Mr. WOODRUM. You already had a fund which was authorized, for a 10 to 15 percent increase in cost?
Admiral PEOPLEs. Yes, sir.
Mr. MARTIN. Except that we are asking for authority to augment that balance by a further amount of $500,000 to take care of any subsequent cases which might require an increase up to 10 or 15 percent.
Mr. WOODRUM. Outside of the $500,000, plus the $6,000,000 plus, the rest of the fund provided in the $23,000,000 is for that project building program?
Mr. MARTIN. With one exception, Mr. Chairman. During the consideration of the annual bill the Procurement Division presented the question of major repairs and small extensions which were too small to be considered as a major project under the new construction program, but which were too large to be considered under the annual repair and preservation appropriation available to the Procurement Division, and it was indicated at that time, at that hearing, that a million and a half dollars would be required for these major repairs and small extension projects.
Mr. WOODRUM. There is nothing here for the District of Columbia, is there?
Mr. Martin. No, sir.
DISTRIBUTION OF ESTIMATE OF $23,000,000 Mr. WOODRUM. Have you a break-down of the $23,000,000, showing what it will be used for?
Admiral Peoples. Yes, sir.
Mr. WOODRUM. The $7,000,000 will be used for projects previously authorized ?
Admiral PEOPLES. $500,000 of the $7,000,000 contemplates provision for increases in the construction cost of public buildings where the increase is within 10- or 15-percent of the authorized limit of cost, and approximately $6,500,000 will be required for the augmentation of allotments made under previous programs on projects where the limited cost appears insufficient by more than 15 percent to permit the completion of the project. The appropriation estimate of $23,000,000 contemplates a material curtailment in the program for the construction of public buildings outside the District of Columbia.
Of this amount, approximately $6,500,000 will be required for the augmentation of allotments made under previous programs for projects where the limit of cost appears insufficient to permit the completion of the project; $1,500,000 for major repairs and small extensions, the cost and character of which are not being considered under the annual repair and preservation appropriation for existing public buildings; $500,000 for augmentation of limits of cost under the 10- and 15percent provision contained in the First Deficiency Act, approved June 22, 1936, leaving $14,500,000 for new projects of major importance.
With $14,500,000 available for new projects consideration would have to be given to a list of 42 major projects costing in the aggregate $30,000,000. Such projects have been deferred from time to time, and should receive consideration as funds are made available by Congress.
It will be noted by the report of the Treasury and Post Office Departments that the average cost per project under the three preceding programs is $171,000, and that the majority of the projects previously authorized had limits of cost less than $100,000. The maximum number of new projects therefore possible under a $23,000,000 program, using a minimum of $70,000 per project, is 200. Using the average of prior programs, namely, $171,000 less than 85 projects may be authorized. In view of this situation, it is believed that consideration must necessarily be given to a fewer number of projects of major importance in the selection of places to be provided with new construction under the $23,000,000 estimate now before the committee.
Mr. Woodrum. Are you going to give us a list of those projects?
Admiral PEOPLES. Yes, sir; the list is part of the report submitted by the Treasury and Post Office Departments which has been incorporated in the record.
Mr. Ludlow. In the case of these increases of the limit of cost, you are prevented by law from entering into contracts until you have the money in hand?
Admiral PEOPLES. Except under the 10 and 15 percent provision. In all other cases we are barred by law from exceeding that amount, and for that reason it has been customary before proceeding with the programs to furnish the committee with a list of those projects which exceed the 10 or 15 percent augmentation, and those increases come out of whatever sum may have been appropriated.
Mr. WOODRUM. In other words, the 23-million-dollar estimate, after you take 6% million dollars for augmentation and a million and a half
for major repairs, and $500,000 for augmentation, would amount
to approximately 15 million dollars, which would be.25 percent of the previous program?
Admiral PEOPLES. About that much.
Mr. WOODRUM. You have had 60 million dollars a year for the last 3 years?
Admiral PEOPLES. Sixty million dollars in the 2 preceding years, and 65 million before that.
Mr. WOODRUM. And you had added limits of cost also in the last two preceding programs?
Admiral PEOPLES. Exactly, which was taken out of the amount of money appropriated.
Mr. WOODRUM. So under the 23-million-dollar item as sent up, you would have about 85 new projects?
Mr. Martin. If you use the average of prior years it would only permit a few large projects. If you use the minimum of $70,000 for a small project, you would get about 200.
Mr. WOODRUM. Of course, the construction cost enters into that also. The average of former years would hardly be a fair criterion, that is, at least for the last couple of years.
Mr. Martin. The increase in limits for prior projects is accounted for in that average.
Mr. WOODRUM. Of course, there has been an increase in construction costs. If you take the projects provided for in the last 2 years and increase those by what you are asking for now you would have a higher average.
Mr. Martin. Yes, sir. What I was pointing out was that the limits of cost in prior programs included the increases received in prior years.
METHOD FOLLOWED IN SELECTING ELIGIBLE PROJECTS
Mr. WOODRUM. Refreshing our recollection as to the manner of selection of eligible projects, let me ask you this question: If you had, let us say, 60 million dollars to build public buildings, what is the manner of the selection of projects; how is that accomplished?
Admiral PEOPLES. Previously, under each program, there has been furnished an eligible list.
Then, in addition to that eligible list, the two Cabinet officers are authorized to select any other projects which were considered economically sound in the interest of the Government, and we are furnished a list of those.
Mr. CANNON. What are the considerations that determine that?
Admiral PEOPLES. Usually the more pressing need, considering the higher postal recipts.
Mr. Cannon. Of what character? Admiral PEOPLES. Postal receipts, Mr. Cannon. In making an allocation of the funds it has been the aim of the two Cabinet officers to allocate a project for each congressional district in the United States, except in the larger cities, where a major project which was selected was looked upon as being sufficient for all of the Representatives whose districts were included within the metropolitan area of that particular community. But that is the principle. That has been done in order to distribute the work equitably throughout the country.