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TWENTIETH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
STATE OF IOWA,
APPOINTED TO VISIT THE
Hospital for the Insane
PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY..
GEO. E. ROBERTS, STATE PRINTER.
To the Twentieth General Assembly:
GENTLEMEN-Your committee appointed to visit the Hospital for the Insane at Independence have discharged that duty, and herewith submit the following report, to-wit:
We find the property connected with the Institution in good condition and well cared for. We visited all the parts of the building containing the insane people, from top to basement, and also all the out-buildings connected therewith, and we find every department in good condition, well cared for, and in competent hands. Nothing that we could discover is left undone to make the unfortunate inmates as cheerful, comfortable and happy as circumstances will permit. All wards, beds and clothing were clean. The food prepared for the inmates was good and well cooked, and plenty provided, so far as we could see. All employes are efficient and attentive to their respective duties, and the least possible number are employed to effectively and properly care for the large number of patients now in said Hospital, and we believe each employe is about fairly compensated for his or her labor, as shown by the exhibit hereto attached, showing the number and names of employes of said Institution.
Your committee further find that the several amounts asked for by the Trustees of said Institution on pages (16 and 17) sixteen and seventeen of their sixth biennial report of said Institution, ought, as a matter of economy to the State and justice and fairness to those unfortunates therein confined, to be appropriated, excepting perhaps the item of one thousand dollars for plastering the basement and attics, and the item of three thousand dollars ($3,000) for ice house and refrigerator room, and the item of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for two large cisterns. These three items could be
dispensed with for the present without serious results to the efficiency of the Institution.
Your committee further find that the Legislature should provide in some way a fund with which to make from time to time needed repairs and repair damages done by action of the elements, as was the case in June, 1882. Machinery and apparatus for heating water, supplying and manufacturing gas, are liable to give out at any time and need immediate repairs at considerable expense. At present no fund of this kind is provided, only as money may be drawn from other funds for such purposes.
In reply to interrogatories of the joint resolution under which your committee was appointed we beg leave to make the following answers, to-wit:
First. Whether an appropriation made by the Nineteenth General Assembly has been wisely and judiciously expended? Your committee find that the $9,500 so appropriated has been wisely and well expended, so far as we are able to see.
Second. Whether they have been expended for the objects for which they were appropriated? Your committee would say they have.
Third. Answering the third inquiry in said resolution your committee would state we think that the provisions of chapter 67, laws of the Seventeenth General Assembly, have been complied with in not contracting indebtedness in excess of the amounts appropriated.
Answering the fourth inquiry in said resolution your committee beg leave to state that we find that the violent storm of June 22, 1882, unroofed a large part of said building, blew down the brick tower, and did a large amount of other damages, to repair which there was no funds on hand. That to make these needed repairs the Board used about $2,000 of money appropriated by the Nineteenth General Assembly, and also about $10,000 which they took from the support fund to aid in making such repairs.
We also find that the sum of $4,000 was, by order of the Executive Council of the State, on the sixth of July, 1882, paid from the providential contingent fund to the repair fund, to aid the Trustees in making needed repairs to said Institution. A copy of said resolution is hereto attached and made a part of this report, and marked Exhibit "B;" and while such action was not provided by law, yet the circumstances under which the Trustees were placed, in having no