A-15716, OCTOBER 9, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 250

A-15716: Oct 9, 1926

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IF THE FIXTURES AFTER PROPER TRIAL ARE FOUND NOT SATISFACTORY FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH LEASED. THE LESSOR MAY BE REQUIRED TO INSTALL NEW ONES OR MAKE SUCH CHANGES AS WILL PROVIDE SATISFACTORY ILLUMINATION. MINOR CHANGES NOT REQUIRED FOR PURPOSES OF ILLUMINATION AND WHICH CAN NOT BE REQUIRED OF LESSOR BUT ARE DESIRABLE TO REDUCE THE CURRENT CONSUMPTION BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE MADE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR RENT AND LIGHT. REQUESTING DECISION UPON A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: WE HAVE A SITUATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE LEASE FOR THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY FERRY STATION OF THE POST OFFICE AT SAN FRANCISCO. IT IS THIS: EFFECTIVE JANUARY 16.

A-15716, OCTOBER 9, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 250

LEASES - LIGHTING FIXTURES UNDER A LEASE PROVIDING THAT THE LESSOR SHALL PROVIDE "SATISFACTORY" LIGHTING FIXTURES AND KEEP THEM IN GOOD REPAIR, IF THE FIXTURES AFTER PROPER TRIAL ARE FOUND NOT SATISFACTORY FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH LEASED, THE LESSOR MAY BE REQUIRED TO INSTALL NEW ONES OR MAKE SUCH CHANGES AS WILL PROVIDE SATISFACTORY ILLUMINATION. MINOR CHANGES NOT REQUIRED FOR PURPOSES OF ILLUMINATION AND WHICH CAN NOT BE REQUIRED OF LESSOR BUT ARE DESIRABLE TO REDUCE THE CURRENT CONSUMPTION BY THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE MADE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES AND CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR RENT AND LIGHT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, OCTOBER 9, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION UPON A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

WE HAVE A SITUATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE LEASE FOR THE QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY FERRY STATION OF THE POST OFFICE AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, ON WHICH WE WOULD LIKE YOUR DECISION. IT IS THIS:

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 16, 1925, WE ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE FERRY STATION POST OFFICE, INCORPORATED, TO LEASE THESE PREMISES FOR TEN YEARS AT $107,300 PER ANNUM, THE BUILDING CONTAINING 142,500 SQUARE FEET. HAVE AN OPTION TO RENEW THE CONTRACT FOR TEN YEARS MORE AT THE SAME RATE, OR TO PURCHASE THE BUILDING. IT IS EXTREMELY PROBABLE THAT ONE OF THOSE OPTIONS WILL BE EXERCISED.

THE LIGHTING FIXTURES WERE INSTALLED BY THE LESSOR, IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPROVED PLANS, AND THE LIGHTING SYSTEM WAS APPROVED AFTER INSTALLATION BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE LESSOR COMPLIED FULLY WITH THE TERMS OF HIS CONTRACT IN THIS RESPECT.

AFTER THE BUILDING WAS OCCUPIED COMPLAINTS WERE RECEIVED TO THE EFFECT THAT PROPER LIGHT WAS NOT BEING FURNISHED. AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER CONNECTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT WAS DETAILED TO INVESTIGATE THE MATTER.

A COPY OF HIS REPORT IS INCLOSED, FROM WHICH IT WILL BE NOTED HE RECOMMENDS THE LOWERING OF THE LIGHTS FROM 13 FEET 5 INCHES TO 10 FEET, AS WELL AS INCIDENTAL CHANGES, THE MATERIALS FOR WHICH, IT IS ESTIMATED, WILL COST $2,200, THE ACTUAL WORK TO BE PERFORMED BY MECHANICS CONNECTED WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LEASE IT IS INCUMBENT UPON THE DEPARTMENT TO DEFRAY THE COST OF LIGHTING THIS BUILDING. IT IS CONSERVATIVELY ESTIMATED THAT BY MAKING THE CHANGES PROPOSED THE SAVINGS THEREBY EFFECTED IN THE COST OF ELECTRIC CURRENT WILL EQUAL THE COST OF SUCH CHANGES IN APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR. THERE IS ANOTHER METHOD BY WHICH THE REQUIRED INTENSITY OF ILLUMINATION CAN BE SECURED, ALTHOUGH NOT SO SATISFACTORILY FROM AN ILLUMINATION STANDPOINT, AND THAT IS BY USING 200-WATT BULBS IN LIEU OF 150-WATT BULBS. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE USE OF 200-WATT BULBS WOULD INCREASE THE COST OF ILLUMINATION BY ONE-THIRD. PRESENT LIGHTING BILLS ARE AVERAGING ABOUT $750 PER MONTH, AND ON THIS BASIS THE MONEY COST OF SUBSTITUTING 200 WATT BULBS WOULD BE ABOUT $3,000 PER ANNUM.

THE LEASE PROVIDES THAT THE LESSOR SHALL FURNISH SATISFACTORY LIGHTING FIXTURES. WE BELIEVE THAT IN INSTALLING THE SYSTEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPROVED PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS, THE LESSORS HAVE COMPLIED WITH THEIR PART OF THE CONTRACT, AND THAT INASMUCH AS THE CONTRACT DOES NOT REQUIRE THEM TO INSTALL ADDITIONAL LIGHTING FIXTURES WE CAN NOT REQUIRE THE LESSORS TO LOWER THE LIGHTS AND MAKE THE INCIDENTAL CHANGES REFERRED TO ABOVE.

WE ARE CONVINCED THAT THE CHANGES PROPOSED IN THE LIGHTING SYSTEM AT THIS BUILDING ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO AFFORD GOOD ILLUMINATION ECONOMICALLY AND THAT IT WOULD BE DISTINCTLY TO THE DEPARTMENT'S FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE TO HAVE THEM MADE. THEREFORE, I SHALL APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY BUY THE MATERIALS NEEDED TO CONSUMMATE THE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT, THE COST THEREOF TO BE DEFRAYED FROM OUR APPROPRIATION FOR RENT, LIGHT, AND FUEL.

IT MAY BE STATED IN THIS CONNECTION THAT WE NOW HAVE AN ENGINEER WHO PREPARES LIGHTING SPECIFICATIONS AND CONSIDERS ALL PLANS COVERING LIGHTING SYSTEMS FOR LARGE BUILDINGS, WITH A VIEW TO THE ADOPTION OF THE VERY BEST SYSTEM POSSIBLE FROM AN ILLUMINATION STANDPOINT, AS WELL AS ULTIMATE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE LEASE IN QUESTION CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

* * * THE LESSOR SHALL FURNISH SATISFACTORY HEATING AND LIGHTING FIXTURES * * * THE LESSOR SHALL KEEP SAID HEATING AND LIGHTING FIXTURES * * * IN GOOD REPAIR AND CONDITION DURING THE TERM OF THIS LEASE.

THE OBLIGATION OF THE LESSOR WAS TO SUPPLY "SATISFACTORY LIGHTING FIXTURES" NOT ONLY AT THE ORIGINAL DATE OF OCCUPANCY BUT TO CONTINUE DURING THE TERM OF THE LEASE. IF THE FIXTURES SUPPLIED ARE NOT NOW SATISFACTORY FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE BUILDING WAS LEASED, THE LESSOR MAY BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH SUCH FIXTURES AS WILL BE SATISFACTORY. THE APPROVAL OF THE ORIGINAL INSTALLATION DOES NOT RELEASE THE LESSOR FROM ITS OBLIGATION IN THE MATTER IF ON SUBSEQUENT TRIAL IT IS FOUND THE INSTALLATION IS NOT SATISFACTORY. THEREFORE, YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO USE POSTAL FUNDS TO MAKE SUCH OF THE CHANGES IN THE LIGHTING FIXTURES AS ARE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE SATISFACTORY ILLUMINATION. SHOULD IT BECOME NECESSARY FOR YOU TO MAKE SUCH CHANGES UPON THE REFUSAL OF THE LESSOR TO DO SO, THE WORK SHOULD BE DONE FOR THE ACCOUNT OF THE LESSOR AND THE COST WITHHELD FROM THE RENT OTHERWISE PAYABLE. SEE DECISIONS TO YOU OF JANUARY 14, 1926, A-12181, AND JANUARY 30, 1926, A-11253.

IN THE REPORT OF THE LIGHTING ENGINEER CERTAIN CHANGES, SUCH AS THE INSTALLATION OF UNIT CORD-PULL SWITCHES, ARE RECOMMENDED IN THE INTEREST OF ECONOMY, ASIDE FROM THE QUESTION OF PROPER ILLUMINATION. SUCH CHANGES AS WELL AS OTHER CHANGES NOT NECESSARY TO PROVIDE SATISFACTORY ILLUMINATION BUT WHICH CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT THAT WORK AND SOLELY FOR PURPOSES OF ECONOMY IN THE REDUCTION OF THE CURRENT NECESSARY TO BE USED OR OTHERWISE ARE SUCH AS CAN NOT BE REQUIRED OF THE LESSOR AND MAY BE MADE AND CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR RENT, LIGHT, AND FUEL. A-15012, JULY 23, 1926.