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Limerick City Petitions

31/07/1822

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Petitions Relating to the Local Taxation of the City of Limerick page 1
 
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Limerick City Petitions

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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84" MrNUTES OF EVIDENCE BEFORE SELECT COMMITTEE Appendix to my knowledge, because I pay the strictest attention to every thing that concerns ( A.) the interest of the parish. ^ , Have you ever done any of your works, sewers, and such like works, by contract, Mr. in the city of Limerick ?— The building of the sewers is done by contract. John Barry. Not the cleaning of them ?— I do not recollect any of them being cleaned by ( io July) contract. Are they built by contract ?— They are, except some small works ; but if there is a heavy work, it is always done by contract, with masons for the purpose. There is an item here, " Paid for making a sewer, with a sluice and valve to it, from Stephen Bourke's house at the end of Patrick- street, to the river in front thereof;'" that was in the year 1811; do you recollect how that was done ?— I do not recollect any of the particulars of that, except I look into the accounts. The cleaning the sewer, respecting which you were asked before, from the corner of Denmark- street and across George's- street to the river; do you consider that a new work?— No, it could not be a new work; yes, I believe that was a new work. Was that done by contract ?— I forget how that was done. That is the work that you stated before was executed by Mr. Owens ?^- That is the cleaning part of it; it is so long ago; but I believe that that sewer only came across from about the Mail Coach Office to the centre of George- street; and I believe it was cleaned at the time there mentioned, and then continued down to the river. Then it was a new sewer from that place ?— It was, I believe. Was that done by contract?— I believe it was, but I do not know. You do not know whether it was done by contract, or not?— I do not; I can- not positively say, except I look into the accounts. Was it cleaned out?— It was cleaned out. Who generally takes your masons contracts ?— Mr. Mackey has done a great deal of the work for the commissioners of the parish; there are others who have executed sewers and built them; the only contracts that I recollect are for the sewer? ; Mr. Mackey has made a great many sewers for the commissioners, and other works, fence walls to prevent accidents to passengers, and other buildings. Has Mr. Owens any other trade besides being a surveyor?— No, Do you consider that you light the lamps and do every thing in short cheaper as you now do it than if you did it by contract?— I do, indeed ; I am certain of it, Will you state why ?— Because the money that it costs us lighting the lamps, taking in all expenses, is considerably less than what the commissioners used to pay for it when it was done by contract; and not only that, but the lamps are infinitely better lighted now; for when the contractors had them, they used to use the very worst oil they could get; now we use the best oil and best materials, and pay the lamplighters ourselves, and it costs us much less. Do you consider that if you put the contract up to the person who would take it at the lowest rate, that you could not do it cheaper now ?— It was put up in that way formerly, and it is done much cheaper now than then. Do you not consider that if the same thing was to be done now, you could do it much cheaper?— I think not; there is no expense attending the lighting of the lamps now, but the bare expense of the cost of the oil and the lamplighters wages, and other incidental charges; so that we do the work now at first cost, and use the best materials. The contractors, when they get a contract, wish to do it as badly as they can, and use the worst materials they can get, and get as much profit as they can ; that is my reason for saying so. You reckon then, that by doing the work yourself, you save all the profit which the contractors would make ?— We do; besides the contractor used very bad oil, the worst oil he could get; the way in which it is done now gives me a great deal of trouble, without any additional emolument, so that I have no interest in its being continued. There is in one year a gratuity paid to Mr. Owens for superintending the sweepers?— Yes ; the reason of it being expressed in that manner is, that the com- missioners did not then wish to give a fixed salary for it, but merely to call it a gratuity. They have since given a fixed salary ?— Of ten guineas a year; we get the streets also swept cleaner, doing it ourselves, than by contract. There is a charge for repairing streets, and building new sewers; who were they executed by in the years 1817 and 1818?— They were done, I believe, by me and Mr. Owens, in the same manner as they are now. You
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