From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/11/1909, p. 10, c. 7
BOARD MAY RECONSIDER REJECTION OF BUREAU
Hope Expressed That the One Member Needed May Be Won Over.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Board of Aldermen voted down the resolution providing for the erection of the United States Weather Bureau on the site chosen by Chief Willis L. Moore in Chimborazo Park, the citizens interested and the business organizations are still confident that it will eventually go through. President J. B. Wood, of the Board of Aldermen, has explained his reasons for voting against the measure, desiring to be put in a position where he could move to reconsider. His name was called last, and the measure was already. When Mr. Gunst changed from aye to no and moved to reconsider and table, Mr. Wood changed from no to aye.
There remains to be secured therefore only one vote from the six now on record as opponents to locating the Weather Bureau here. The opposing Aldermen are:
W. H. Adamas, of Jefferson, P. H. Donahoe, of Madison; A. C. Nelson, of Marshall; E. D. Richardson, of Marshall; John L. Satterfield, of Marshall, and Robert Whittet, of Clay.
The belief was expressed last night that one of these would acquiesce in the wishes of the business organizations and people of the city.
Still Keep Up the Fight.
Though the matter was apparently defeated Tuesday night, the Chamber of Commerce, the Richmond Fruit and Produce Association, and many private citizens who recognize the importance of the move in spite of the opposition of a few in the neighborhood of the park, are as actively at work as ever, and declare that they will not drop it until there is no hope of obtaining the building for the city. One of the members of the Council, who has been particularly active in working for the bureau, said yesterday that though great capital had been made of the fact that some of the property owners adjoining the park had openly made complaint against the government building, no one had ever taken the names of those who, in practically the same position, are in favor of it. He added that it would be an easy matter to get many signatures to a paper asking for the building on the location selected by the government.
How long the Federal officials will wait on the bickering and ward politics, which have delayed this measure since Section Director Evans asked for a cite last July, remains to be seen.
Health Officer Protests.
In addition to the others who have been active in efforts to have the matter decided and the work on the building begun at once, Dr. E. C. Levy, Chief Health Officer of the city, addressed to the members of the Board of Aldermen yesterday the following letter, showing the importance of the bureau from a medical standpoint to the citizens of Richmond:
“City of Richmond.
“To the Members of the Board of Aldermen of the City of Richmond:
“Gentlemen: From the standpoint of the Health Department the location of the United States Weather Bureau station in Richmond is a matter of much importance. There are a great many diseases in which climatic conditions clearly play a prominent part. The opportunities of solving some of the heretofore obscure problems of epidemiology will be greatly advanced by having this station located in Richmond, especially under the charge of such a man as Mr. E. A. Evans, who is himself deeply interested in the relation of weather conditions to disease and has done considerable work along this line.
“We have gotten valuable aid from the Weather Bureau in the past, and there is even more important work of this kind to be done in the future. The study of some of our most difficult public health problems will be materially aided by having this station in Richmond. I would regard it as a calamity, from the standpoint of this department, if we failed to get it.
“I fell it my duty to direct your attention to these facts. I wish to state, furthermore, that the above is written without the solicitation, and, indeed, without the knowledge of any one interested in one way or the other in the ordinance now pending before the City Council.
(Signed) “E. C. Levy,
“Chief Health Officer.”