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decrease in the duration and density of sinoke to be permitted ; and a hearing and an order by the Board as a condition precedent to a prosecution under the act. It was the purpose of the promoters of the act to enlist the co-operation of those who own or control the operation of stacks in the abatement of the smoke nuisance, and this is evidenced in its provisions.
The act was approved June 15, 1910, and went into effect July 1, 1910. It provided for the appointment of a smoke inspector and deputy inspectors to assist the Board in the performance of its duties under the act, to investigate complaints as to violations of its provisions, and to collect and present evidence .
thereof to the Board for action. It also authorized the employment of such clerks, stenographers and other office employees as the Board may deem necessary. The Board accordingly employed an additional stenographer on Aug. 1, 1910, and rented an additional room for the accommodation of this department of its work. The office of smoke inspector came within the classified service; and when requisition was made upon the Civil Service Commission for the names of eligible persons therefor, that commission had no established eligible list from which to certify such names. It therefore held a competitive examination for applicants for the position, and on Oct. 3, 1910, certified to the Board the names of three persons eligible for appointment. From this list the Board, on Nov. 3, 1910, appointed William H. Gerrish, smoke inspector. His appointment, at a salary of $2,500 per year, was approved by the Governor and Council on Nov. 2, 1910, and he immediately entered upon the discharge of his duties. Mr. Gerrish is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a mechanical engineer, and his experience since graduation is of a character calculated to make him familiar with the problems with which his new position will bring him in contact. No deputies have yet been appointed, as the smoke inspector has so far been able to handle the work of this department. Allowance, however, was made for such deputies in the Board's estimate of the necessary expense to be incurred under this act, and deputies will be appointed as fast as experience develops their need.
Since the appointment of the smoke inspector all complaints have been promptly investigated, and observations taken and records made as required by the act. The smoke inspector has investigated twenty-eight complaints. In addition, he has made an examination of the territory, with a view to familiarizing himself with existing conditions and the location and environment of offending stacks. Placards displaying the essential features of the law have been widely posted over the district and freely distributed for use in fire rooms. Owners of power plants and the engineers and firemen operating them have exhibited a commendable spirit of co-operation with the Board, and, as a rule, a desire to avoid violating the provisions of the act.
The Board has not yet made any rules and regulations for the conduct of this department, as permitted by the act, preferring to wait until it has had further experience with the administration of the law. It has, however, adopted as its working policy to have a preliminary investigation made of all complaints as soon as received. If a violation of the law is found, and if after notice to the parties concerned and upon further observations taken within a reasonable time the violation continues, it is then the purpose of the Board to take the steps necessary to the issuing of an order to stop or abate the emission of smoke in violation of the act; and if this order is violated, to prosecute the offence in the courts. With the exception of a slight perfecting amendment, the Board has not found occasion to make at this time any recommendations as to legislative action.
By the provisions of chapter 441 of the Acts of 1909 (approved May 24, 1909), “Trustees of a voluntary association under a written instrument which is divided into transferable certificates of participation or shares, who own or control a majority of the capital stock of a . .
gas company or electric light company, shall annually on or before the first day of May file . . . with the board having supervision of such company a statement showing the number of shares of such company owned or controlled by them and the stockholders of record on
the books of such company in whose name such shares are held.” Under this act statements were filed on or before May 1, 1910, by the trustees of the following-named voluntary associations, viz.:
NAME OP VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION.
Names of Gas
owned or controlled.
Number of Shares owned by Trustees of Association.
Ludlow Manufacturing Associates,
Massachusetts Lighting Companies,
Ludlow Manufacturing Co.,
Massachusetts Gas Companies,
New England Investment and Se
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION.
The act passed at the last session of the General Court relative to the abatement of smoke in Boston and vicinity provides for the use of “Ringelmann's smoke chart.” It defines the word “chart” used in the act as meaning “Ringelmann's smoke chart as published and used by the United States Geological Survey.” The Board finds that the chart in question is no longer published and used by the Geological Survey, this part of its work having been transferred to the Bureau of Mines of the Interior Department. In order to avoid a question which may arise in the enforcement of the act, it seems desirable to amend it by inserting the word “heretofore ” before the words “ published and used,” and to refer in the act to a certified copy of the chart which may be deposited with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
During the past year the attention of the Board has been directed to an instance in which an electric light company has undertaken to make a ninety-nine-year lease of its works and distributing system to another company, and to the attempt of another electric light company to virtually contract with a power company for the operation of its works. While the validity of contracts of this character are open to serious question, they are not specifically forbidden by statute. They are, however, clearly antagonistic to the legislative policy indicated by existing laws, and constitute a menace to the best interests of consumers. For nearly twenty-five years a gas company has been expressly prohibited from leasing or contracting for the operation of its works. The Board recommends that the same provisions (Revised Laws, chapter 122, section 13) be extended to electricity supply companies.
The following drafts of bills are respectfully submitted :
AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE ABATEMENT OF SMOKE IN BOSTON AND
VICINITY. Be it enacted, etc., as follows:
SECTION 1. Section one of chapter six hundred and fifty-one of the acts of nineteen hundred and ten is hereby amended by inserting after the words “smoke chart as ”, in the twelfth line thereof, the word: heretofore, so that the sentence in which said words occur shall read as follows, viz.:
“ Chart” means Ringelmann's smoke chart as heretofore published and used by the United States geological survey, a copy whereof duly certified by the director of the United States geological survey is now on deposit in the office of the secretary of the commonwealth.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
AN ACT RELATIVE TO ELECTRIC Light, HEAT AND POWER COMPANIES. Be it enacted, etc., as follows:
SECTION 1. A corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing or selling electricity for light, heat or power shall not, without the authority of the general court, transfer its franchise, lease its works or contract with any person, association or corporation to carry on its works, except in accordance with the provisions of chapter five hundred and twenty-nine of the acts of the year nineteen hundred and eight and acts in amendment thereof and in addition thereto. SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its
ORDERS AND DECISIONS.
Price and Quality.
BEVERLY PETITION. This was a complaint in writing, under section 34 of chapter 121 of the Revised Laws, by more than twenty customers of the Beverly Gas and Electric Company of the prices charged for gas and electricity.
After due notice the public hearing thereon required by law was held in Beverly, at which the petitioners and the company were represented.
The Beverly Gas Light Company was organized in 1859 with a capital stock of $40,000, and since that time it has been continuously engaged in the business of making and selling gas. A controlling interest in the company passed into the hands of the present owners in 1885. In 1888 it was authorized to engage in the business of supplying electricity, and its name was later changed to Beverly Gas and Electric Company. It has received legislative authority to extend its business outside of Beverly, and is now engaged in supplying electricity in the towns of Wenham and Hamilton.
In 1886 the company had outstanding $40,000 common and $11,800 special capital stock, and a gas plant with a book value of $49,000. Between 1886 and 1892 the company increased its common stock from $40,000 to $92,000, principally, as appears, for the erection and equipment of an electric plant. In 1900, 1904 and 1906 further issues of capital stock were made, of $50,000, $52,000 and $91,000, respectively, at premiums amounting to $95,130, making a total for capital and premium of $392,830. The book value of its plant and quick assets available for the company's use, which in 1886 was $52,600, was on June 30, 1909, approximately $570,000, the latter figures apparently indicating the actual cost, minus such charges as had been made for depreciation.
The special stock has received since its issue an annual divi-dend of 6 per cent. No dividend was paid on the common stock in 1887 and 1888, 71/2 per cent. was paid in 1889, 6 per cent. an