A-34956, JANUARY 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 331

A-34956: Jan 30, 1931

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IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF DIVERTING AND RELOCATING PUBLIC UTILITIES SUCH AS GAS. MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF SUCH CONSTRUCTION WHEN SUCH COSTS ARE PROPERLY FOR PAYING BY THE OWNER OF SUCH PUBLIC UTILITIES UNDER ITS FRANCHISE. THESE PROPOSED DISTRIBUTION LINES WILL EXTEND FROM THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT THROUGH THE STREET PAVEMENT AND PARKING AREAS TO EXISTING AND PROPOSED BUILDINGS TO BE LOCATED IN THE CAPITOL GROUNDS. THE CHESAPEAKE AND POTOMAC TELEPHONE COMPANY WILL BE ENCOUNTERED AND IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAKE CERTAIN ALTERATIONS. THE VIEW OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ARE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROPER TO CHARGE AGAINST THE ABOVE-MENTIONED APPROPRIATION THE COST OF THE NECESSARY ALTERATIONS TO PUBLIC UTILITIES OR WHETHER THE COMPANIES INVOLVED AND MENTIONED ABOVE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF THESE CHANGES.

A-34956, JANUARY 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 331

APPROPRIATIONS - ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL - RELOCATING AND DIVERTING PUBLIC UTILITIES THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1930, 46 STAT. 514, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF UNDERGROUND DUCT LINES, STEAM TUNNELS, ETC., FROM THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT TO THE NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COSTS OF DIVERTING AND RELOCATING PUBLIC UTILITIES SUCH AS GAS, ELECTRICITY, TELEPHONES, ETC., MADE NECESSARY BY REASON OF SUCH CONSTRUCTION WHEN SUCH COSTS ARE PROPERLY FOR PAYING BY THE OWNER OF SUCH PUBLIC UTILITIES UNDER ITS FRANCHISE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, JANUARY 30, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC NO. 311 (71ST CONGRESS, H.R. 11965), APPROVED JUNE 6, 1930, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE UNDER ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL:

"FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF UNDERGROUND DUCT LINES, STEAM TUNNELS, INSTALLATION OF CONDENSATE PIPING AND PUMPING SYSTEMS AND DUPLICATE STEAM LINES FROM THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT TO THE NEW BUILDINGS, AND FOR ALL LABOR, MATERIALS, PERSONAL AND OTHER SERVICES, INCLUDING ENGINEERING AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, AND FOR ALL OTHER EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO, $365,425.'

THESE PROPOSED DISTRIBUTION LINES WILL EXTEND FROM THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT THROUGH THE STREET PAVEMENT AND PARKING AREAS TO EXISTING AND PROPOSED BUILDINGS TO BE LOCATED IN THE CAPITOL GROUNDS. IN LOCATING THESE DISTRIBUTION LINES EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO AVOID INTERFERENCE WITH PUBLIC UTILITIES NOW IN PLACE. HOWEVER, AT STREET INTERSECTIONS AND CERTAIN OTHER LOCATIONS, THE PUBLIC UTILITIES OWNED BY THE POTOMAC ELECTRIC COMPANY, CAPITAL TRACTION COMPANY, WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT COMPANY, AND THE CHESAPEAKE AND POTOMAC TELEPHONE COMPANY WILL BE ENCOUNTERED AND IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAKE CERTAIN ALTERATIONS, RELOCATIONS, ETC., OF THESE SERVICES TO PROPERLY INSTALL THE NEW STEAM DISTRIBUTION LINES COVERED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED APPROPRIATION.

THE VIEW OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ARE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT WOULD BE PROPER TO CHARGE AGAINST THE ABOVE-MENTIONED APPROPRIATION THE COST OF THE NECESSARY ALTERATIONS TO PUBLIC UTILITIES OR WHETHER THE COMPANIES INVOLVED AND MENTIONED ABOVE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF THESE CHANGES. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SPECIFICATION FOR THIS WORK IS ABOUT COMPLETED, AND IT IS DESIRED TO INCLUDE A PROVISION GOVERNING THE WORK WHERE INTERFERENCE WITH PUBLIC UTILITIES IS ENCOUNTERED, IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED IF THE ADVICE OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL COULD BE FURNISHED AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE.

RIGHTS OF WAY OR FRANCHISES GRANTED BY MUNICIPALITIES OR BY STATE OR FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO PUBLIC UTILITY CORPORATIONS, IN PUBLIC STREETS, ETC., TO OPERATE THEIR BUSINESS ARE USUALLY COUPLED WITH RESERVATIONS THAT THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY WILL, UPON DEMAND OF THE GRANTING AUTHORITY, VACATE THE STREETS, ETC., OR RELOCATE OR DIVERT ITS CONDUITS, LINES, ETC., TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE GRANTING AUTHORITY AS THEY ARISE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE FRANCHISES OF PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE GRANTED ON SUCH BASIS AND THAT WHEN THE NEED OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA GOVERNMENT SO REQUIRE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, ETC., SUCH PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANIES ARE UNDER OBLIGATION TO REMOVE, DIVERT, OR RELOCATE THEIR LINES, CONDUITS, ETC., WITHOUT COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOU I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT FOR SUCH EXPENSES AS THE OWNERS OF PUBLIC UTILITIES MAY BE REQUIRED TO BEAR, THE APPROPRIATION CITED AND QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER AS MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1930, 46 STAT. 514, IS NOT AVAILABLE. THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANIES SHOULD BE ADVISED OF THE NECESSITY FOR THE ALTERATIONS, RELOCATIONS, TC., OF THEIR LINES, AND REQUESTED TO MAKE SAME AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE.