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THE CARE OF THE SICK.

It is gratifying to see the attention which is given to this part of the work of our almshouses. As a general thing the inmates of almshouses are old and infirm, with a pronounced tendency toward chronic disease. There are, however, in all the alınshouses of the district certain inmates who are comparatively young, but prevented from self-support by defects or infirmities. It is not desirable that these inmates and others in the eniorment of health should be imperiled by daily and nightly association with the sick. The erection of separate buildings for hospital purposes is a move in the right direction. Their use will take out of the ordinary dormitories the sick smells and geinladen atmosphere which are always found where the sick are. The separate hospital will relieve those in ordinary health from the depressing influence of constant association with the sick. It will have a tendency to assure better care for the sick, as the hospital is usually much better equipped than the ordinary dormitory. It is hoped that the day is not far distant when each alushouse in the district will have its well-equipped hos. pital for the segregation of sick inmates.

WATER

Next to the matter of protection from the dangers of fire, the matter of water supply is important. In fact, upon an abundant water supply the general safety of the institution depends, for without water fires will usually get beyond control, while with standpipes and hose, tires can be extinguished before they gain much headway. Besides this an abundant water supply assures domestic and personal cleanliness and the cons:quent health of the inmates in the institution. Attention is being paid to this matter in the several counties of the district, and where water has been scarce heretofore at certain seasons steps have been taken or are in contemplation which will secure an abundant supply for all purposes.

ADMINISTRATION.

Some changes have taken place in the list of officials charged with the management of our almshouses, but these changes are comparatively few. Consequently the administration remains substantially as heretofore. This is an advantage to the seyeral counties. Where changes in the official staff are made frequently the discipline is more or less disturbed. Fortunately for the institutions the benefit of the continuance in service of capable officials is recognized in the district. Kindliness las marked the intercourse of inmates and attendants.

In this district the food supply is usually abundant and varied, although the methods of cooking are not always satisfactory. In this matter of the preparation of food the attempt to economize results occasionally in waste and discontent. It is better to pay for a competent cook than to depend upon the services of the usually incompetent inmates.

The statistics will be found tabulated at the conclusion of the reports of the several counties.

Respectfully submitted,

PETER WALRATH, Commissioner Sixth Judicial District.

BROOME COUNTY ALMSHOUSE, BINGHAMTON, N. Y.

John Moses, Keeper.

This almshouse has accommodations for about 150 inmates. The buildings are estimated to be worth about $40,000. There have been few improvements during the year outside of fencing and some new furnishing.

At the times of inspection the almshouse was found in good condition and the inmates appeared contented. The old wooden buildings are unsafe in the event of fire, and should therefore be removed entirely or relocated and converted to other purposes. A special building for a hospital for men ought to be built as soon as possible.

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CHEMUNG COUNTY ALMSHOUSE, BREESPORT, N. Y.

William VAN DUZER, Superintendent. This almshouse has been greatly improved since last report. A new administration building of brick, three stories high, has been built. A steam heating plant, furnishing warmth for the north building, was installed, and the laundry improved. Besides these improvements, some old structures which lead outlived their usefulness were torn down. It is anticipated that a large cistern, which will receive the rainwater from the sereral buildings, will be constructed near the laundry. In addition to this, the reservoir upon the hillside is to be doubled in capacity. This will prove a good measure for the general safety of the institution.

There is ample space in some of the buildings connected with this almshouse to provide room for such of the county charges as now have to be cared for at Amityville and similar places. Pending the transfer to State care of the epileptics, idiots and feeble-minded persons who have to be supported by the county, it is proposed by the county superintendent and supervisors to domicile them in the available buildings. Such a step would result in considerable saving to the county, but it should only be taken to bridge over the time until the State institutions can receive all of these dependents.

An improvement in the water service in this institution is needed to secure its safety against the danger of fire. To ren der the water supply available, fire risers and connected bose should be placed in all the halls of the buildings.

The dietary is generally satisfactory and sufficient. Iconsiderable supply for the table is raised by the labor of the inmates in the gardens, and consequently there is variety in the daily meals.

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CHENANGO COUNTY ALMSHOUSE, PRESTON, N. Y.

RICHARD C. Quinx, Superintendent. The group of buildings which constitutes the almshouse of Chenango county is located on high ground about four miles from the village of Norwich. The institution will accommodate about 100 inmates, and the estimated value of the property is $30,000. The main building is in good order.

Recently a masonry reservoir, holding about 750 barrels of water, was constructed, and a gas plant supplying 100 lights installed.

In this almshouse the dairy contains 20 cows giving milk, iind the inmates are supplied with all the milk and butter they need.

The hospital is in the main building, a room with accommodations for eight patients being set apart for each sex. I small building in the rear of the main almshouse is used as a dormitory for the feeble-minded and idiotic. A number of this class should be sent to the State institutions as soon as possible.

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CORTLAND COUNTY ALMSHOUSE, CORTLAND, N. Y.

D. W. PORTER, Keeper.

Some minor repairs, especially to the asylum building, were made to this almshouse during the year, but the matter of tire protection by the provision of chemical fire extinguishers and increase of water storage and supply has been left unattended to by the supervisor's. Is this institution is lighted by kerosene oil lamps, there is greater necessity for special attention to safety in the event of fire. There are practically no precantions against fire, for the twenty hand grenades distributed about the buildings would be useless in case of an outbreak. The safety of the inmates is not assured by fire-escapes, and there is only one stairway from each upper floor in the buildings devoted to men and women. Escape from the second floor to the keeper's quarters and other parts of the buildings might be had across a tin roof, but the exit would be through a window and directly at the head of a stairway leading to the floor below, so that a fire breaking out in the lower part of the hall at the foot of the stairway would prevent the use of this window. Fortunately, the number of inmates is not large. . At the time of inspection everything was found clean ind in good order. The food was seen to be well cooked, served in sufficient quantity and varied in its character. The inmates were apparently contented with their home and with the treat. ment they receive from the attendants.

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