A-11808, JANUARY 20, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 499

A-11808: Jan 20, 1926

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THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE PAYMENT IN QUESTION WAS MADE APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS: IN JANUARY. IT BECAME NECESSARY TO ARRANGE FOR ADDITIONAL GARAGE SPACE AND THE MATTER WAS TAKEN UP WITH THE LESSOR OF THE PREMISES THEN OCCUPIED BY THE GARAGE WITH A VIEW TO DETERMINING WHETHER HE COULD FURNISH THE NECESSARY ACCOMMODATIONS AT A REASONABLE RATE OF RENTAL. ARE AS FOLLOWS: AGREEMENT NO. 1: I HEREBY AGREE TO RENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THE CORNER ROOM LOCATED AT 1201 WEST FORSYTH STREET. NO ALTERATIONS WILL BE MADE. NO HEAT OR WATER WILL BE FURNISHED. AGREEMENT NO. 2: IN THE EVENT AGREEMENT NO. 1 IS NOT ACCEPTABLE I AGREE TO RENT THE ROOM MENTIONED IN AGREEMENT NO. 1. AGREEMENT NO. 3: IN THE EVENT AGREEMENTS NO. 1 OR 2 ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE I AGREE TO RENT THE ROOM MENTIONED IN AGREEMENTS 1 OR 2.

A-11808, JANUARY 20, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 499

LEASES - ALTERATIONS WHERE A LEASE AGREEMENT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) FOR PROPERTY TO BE USED AS A POST-OFFICE GARAGE PROVIDED FOR PAYMENT, WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER OCCUPANCY, OF A CERTAIN SUM TO COVER EXPENSES OF MAKING ALTERATIONS WHICH APPEAR TO BE FOR THE SOLE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE LESSOR MAY BE REIMBURSED THEREFOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE LEASE AGREEMENT AS FOR GARAGE FACILITIES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPROPRIATION "VEHICLE SERVICE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, 1925," ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 86.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 20, 1926:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29, 1925, RELATIVE TO THE MATTER OF A PAYMENT OF $440 MADE TO H. W. METCALF BY THE POSTMASTER OF JACKSONVILLE, FLA., AS ADDITIONAL RENTAL FOR THE POST-OFFICE GARAGE AT THAT POINT, FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 1925. THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE PAYMENT IN QUESTION WAS MADE APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

IN JANUARY, 1925, OWING TO THE ASSIGNMENT OF ADDITIONAL TRUCKS TO THE JACKSONVILLE POST OFFICE AND THE DESIGNATION OF THE GARAGE AT THAT POINT AS THE CENTRAL REPAIR UNIT FOR OVERHAULING MOTOR VEHICLES FOR OTHER SMALLER POST OFFICES IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, IT BECAME NECESSARY TO ARRANGE FOR ADDITIONAL GARAGE SPACE AND THE MATTER WAS TAKEN UP WITH THE LESSOR OF THE PREMISES THEN OCCUPIED BY THE GARAGE WITH A VIEW TO DETERMINING WHETHER HE COULD FURNISH THE NECESSARY ACCOMMODATIONS AT A REASONABLE RATE OF RENTAL. ACCORDINGLY, THE LESSOR SUBMITTED THREE PROPOSALS COVERING THE LEASE OF A ROOM CONTAINING APPROXIMATELY 1,485 SQUARE FEET, IMMEDIATELY ADJOINING THE QUARTERS THEN OCCUPIED BY THE GARAGE BUT SEPARATED THEREFROM BY A SOLID WALL. THE LESSOR'S PROPOSALS, DATED JANUARY 3, 1925, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

AGREEMENT NO. 1: I HEREBY AGREE TO RENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THE CORNER ROOM LOCATED AT 1201 WEST FORSYTH STREET, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, ADJOINING THE STATION A POST-OFFICE GARAGE, SIZE, 26 FEET 8 INCHES WIDE BY 55 FEET 6 INCHES LONG, INSIDE MEASUREMENTS, CONTAINING 1,484 SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE, FROM DECEMBER 16TH, 1924, OR DATE OF OCCUPANCY, AT THE RATE OF SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS ($600.00) PER ANNUM, UNTIL JUNE 30TH, 1930. THIS PROPOSITION COVERS THE BARE ROOM ONLY. NO ALTERATIONS WILL BE MADE, NO LIGHT GLOBES, NO LIGHTS, AND NO HEAT OR WATER WILL BE FURNISHED.

AGREEMENT NO. 2: IN THE EVENT AGREEMENT NO. 1 IS NOT ACCEPTABLE I AGREE TO RENT THE ROOM MENTIONED IN AGREEMENT NO. 1, INCLUDING THE CUTTING OF A DOOR, 9 FEET WIDE BY 9 FEET HIGH, EQUIPPED WITH DOUBLE FIRE DOORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH FIRE UNDERWRITER'S SPECIFICATIONS, BETWEEN THE TWO ROOMS, FURNISH ALL ELECTRIC LIGHT FIXTURES, LIGHT AND WATER,FROM DECEMBER 16TH, 1924, OR DATE OF OCCUPANCY UNTIL JUNE 30TH, 1930, AT THE RATE OF SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS ($600.00) RENT PER ANNUM; LIGHTS, SIXTY DOLLARS ($60.00) PER ANNUM; ALTERATIONS, FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS ($440.00). THE COST OF ALTERATIONS TO BE PAID IN CASH WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FROM DATE OF OCCUPANCY.

AGREEMENT NO. 3: IN THE EVENT AGREEMENTS NO. 1 OR 2 ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE I AGREE TO RENT THE ROOM MENTIONED IN AGREEMENTS 1 OR 2, INCLUDING THE CUTTING OF A DOOR, 9 FEET WIDE BY 9 FEET HIGH, EQUIPPED WITH DOUBLE FIRE DOORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH FIRE UNDERWRITER'S SPECIFICATIONS, BETWEEN THE TWO ROOMS, FURNISH ALL ELECTRIC LIGHT FIXTURES, LIGHT AND WATER, FROM DECEMBER 16TH, 1924, OR DATE OF OCCUPANCY, UNTIL JUNE 30TH, 1930, AT THE RATE OF ($600) SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM; LIGHTS, SIXTY DOLLARS ($60.00) PER ANNUM; ALTERATIONS, FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS ($440.00), THE COST OF ALTERATIONS TO BE PRORATED OVER THE PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 16TH, 1924, OR DATE OF OCCUPANCY TO JUNE 30TH, 1930, PLUS EIGHT PERCENT INTEREST.

ON FEBRUARY 3, 1925, THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL ACCEPTED PROPOSAL NO. 2 BY LETTER, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT HEREBY ACCEPTS YOUR PROPOSAL DATED JANUARY 3, 1925, TO FURNISH ADDITIONAL GARAGE SPACE, READING AS FOLLOWS:

I HEREBY AGREE TO RENT TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THE CORNER ROOM LOCATED AT 1201 WEST FORSYTH STREET, JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, ADJOINING THE STATION A POST-OFFICE GARAGE, SIZE 26 FEET 8 INCH WIDE BY 55 FEET 6 INCH LONG, INSIDE MEASUREMENTS, CONTAINING 1,484 SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE; INCLUDING THE CUTTING OF A DOOR, 9 FEET WIDE BY 9 FEET HIGH, EQUIPPED WITH DOUBLE FIRE DOORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH FIRE UNDERWRITER'S SPECIFICATIONS, BETWEEN THE TWO ROOMS, FURNISH ALL ELECTRIC LIGHT FIXTURES, LIGHT AND WATER, FROM DECEMBER 16, 1924, OR DATE OF OCCUPANCY UNTIL JUNE 30, 1930, AT THE RATE OF SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS ($600) RENT PER ANNUM; LIGHTS, SIXTY DOLLARS ($60) PER ANNUM; ALTERATIONS, FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS ($440). THE COST OF ALTERATIONS TO BE PAID IN CASH WITHIN THIRTY DAYS FROM DATE OF OCCUPANCY.

A POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR WILL SUPERVISE THE EQUIPMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL SPACE AND UPON THE RECEIPT OF HIS REPORT THAT THE ROOM IS IN PROPER CONDITION THE POSTMASTER WILL BE AUTHORIZED TO PAY RENTAL AT THE INCREASED RATE OF $1,860 A YEAR, INCLUDING LIGHT AND WATER, AND YOU WILL BE REIMBURSED IN THE SUM OF $440 COVERING THE COST OF THE ABOVE ALTERATIONS.

THE ANNUAL RENTAL OF THE GARAGE PREMISES PRIOR TO THE ABOVE PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE WAS $1,200. THE PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE THEREFOR INCREASED THE RENTAL TO $1,860 AND INCLUDED FURTHER AN AGREEMENT TO PAY $440 FOR ALTERING THE PREMISES BY CUTTING A DOOR 9 FEET HIGH BY 9 FEET WIDE IN A WALL BETWEEN THE GARAGE SPACES.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE ALTERATIONS, IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29, 1925, THAT WHILE THE SPACE INVOLVED WAS IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE BUILDING ALREADY UNDER LEASE, THERE WAS A SOLID WALL BETWEEN AND THE SPACE COULD NOT BE USED WITHOUT THE ALTERATIONS WHICH INCLUDED THE CUTTING OF A DOOR 9 FEET HIGH BY 9 FEET WIDE, EQUIPPED WITH DOUBLE FIRE DOORS BETWEEN THE TWO ROOMS, AND THE CHANGING OF THE LOCATION OF THE ELECTRIC LIGHT FIXTURES, PLUMBING, ETC., EMBEDDED IN THE WALL. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT:

* * * INASMUCH AS PROPOSAL (B) SPECIFIED A PAYMENT OF $440, WHEREAS THE PAYMENTS UNDER PROPOSAL (C) WOULD APPROXIMATE $660 DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE TERM OF THE LEASE, WITH THE PROBABILITY OF THE ADDITIONAL CHARGE CONTINUING SHOULD THE LEASE BE RENEWED ON ITS EXPIRATION, PROPOSAL (B) WAS ACCEPTED AND THE POSTMASTER WAS AUTHORIZED TO PAY $440 ADDITIONAL RENTAL FOR THE PREMISES FOR THE MONTH OF MAY, 1925, AFTER THE ALTERATIONS HAD BEEN COMPLETED BY THE LESSOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF HIS PROPOSAL.

IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD THAT GOVERNMENT FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED TO MAKE REPAIRS OR IMPROVEMENTS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY HELD UNDER LEASE EXCEPT WHERE THE FACTS DISCLOSED SHOW THAT SUCH PROCEDURE WAS NECESSARY IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE COST OF SUCH REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS WAS SPECIFICALLY MADE THE CONSIDERATION FOR THE RENTAL IN WHOLE OR IN PART, HAVING DUE REGARD ALSO TO THE ORDINARY RENTAL VALUE OF THE PROPERTY. COMP. DEC. 146; 6 ID. 943; 2 COMP. GEN. 606.

THE EXPENSE INVOLVED IN THE INSTANT CASE, HOWEVER, IS NOT FOR REPAIRS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY, NOR DOES IT APPEAR THAT THE EXPENSE IS FOR AN IMPROVEMENT THERETO THAT INURES TO THE BENEFIT OF THE LESSOR. THE CUTTING OF THE DOORWAY IN THE SOLID WALL AND THE FITTING OF THE DOORWAY WITH FIRE DOORS APPEAR RATHER TO BE ALTERATIONS MADE FOR THE SOLE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING IN THIS CASE, IT IS HELD THE PAYMENT AS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE AGREEMENT THEREFOR WAS AUTHORIZED. SUCH EXPENSE ALSO MAY BE REGARDED AS ONE COVERING GARAGE FACILITIES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE, ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 86, WHICH READS:

FOR VEHICLE ALLOWANCE, THE HIRING OF DRIVERS, THE RENTAL OF VEHICLES, AND THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE AND MAINTENANCE, INCLUDING STABLE AND GARAGE FACILITIES, OF WAGONS OR AUTOMOBILES FOR, AND THE OPERATION OF, SCREEN- WAGON AND CITY DELIVERY AND COLLECTION SERVICE, * * * PROVIDED, THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY, IN HIS DISBURSEMENT OF THIS APPROPRIATION, APPLY A PART THEREOF TO THE LEASING OF QUARTERS FOR THE HOUSING OF GOVERNMENT- OWNED AUTOMOBILES AT A REASONABLE ANNUAL RENTAL FOR A TERM NOT EXCEEDING TEN YEARS.

ACCORDINGLY, SAID APPROPRIATION HAVING BEEN CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE IN QUESTION, CREDIT FOR THE PAYMENT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE POSTMASTER'S ACCOUNT.