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STATEMENT OF GEN. R. C. CRAWFORD, ASSISTANT CHIEF, CORPS
OF ENGINEERS General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. For the record, General Crawford, I will ask you to supplement the statement that you have previously made by any additional statement, facts, or recommendations that you care to submit.
General CRAWFORD. Mr. Chairman, the Savage River Dam was considered in the report on Fotomac River and was included in the projects as recommended in the report by the district engineer, as a part of the general comprehensive plan for the Potomac Basin. However, the Board of Engineers, after a public hearing here in Washington on the whole subject at which very strong objections were expressed, decided to leave out the power features of the project and, since in the district engineer's report the Savage River Dam had its principal justification based upon power, it and the other 14 power dams in the plan were not recommended by the Board. * We have asked the district engineer to consider the Savage River Dam again, as an individual project separate from the main report. In doing that he has developed other benefits that he did not find it necessary to develop when he wrote his main report. The result is that he finds greater benefit, on further investigation, than he had in his report. Consequently we find there are annual benefits for that dam, which were only partially considered, as follows:
The annual pollution abatement benefits, $45,000.
Power benefits, which are due to the regulating effect of this dam on the stream flow, at least $5,000; benefits of improved water supply, $130,000; flood-control benefits, $2,700, making a total of annual benefits $182,700. The district engineer reports the ratio of cost to benefits is 1.0 to 1.5.
The CHAIRMAN. General, how much has been expended on this project? I understand a large amount of expenditures were made by the WPA out of funds that were made available. General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you recall about what the amount was at that time?
General CRAWFORD. About $4,000,000, Mr. Chairman, have already been expended by the Government and local interests.
The CHAIRMAN. Expended on this project?
The CHAIRMAN. After the Government and local interests have expended $4,000,000 on it? General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. What is your recommendation? General CRAWFORD. We believe that if the committee sees fit to go beyond the formal report, that has already been submitted on Potomac River, that it would be perfectly proper to add this Savage River Dam project to the Potomac River projects before you in the Potomac River report.
General out of and a larad, how m
The CHAIRMAN. In the Potomac River report before us, the only recommendation that you have submitted is the recommendation for the protection of Waynesboro? General CRAWFORD. And for Washington, D. C., sir. The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I should have mentioned Washington, D. C.
Then what recommendation do you submit to the committee in view of the additional facts that you have given to us in this letter, with respect to the modification of the report so as to include the completion of this Savage River Dam? - General CRAWFORD. A large amount of money has been spent on this project and it is entirely inoperative at present so this money is giving no return on the investment. It seems prudent to spend the additional amount needed to complete the dam and thereby have a beneficial project, instead of an uncompleted structure only. The Savage River Dam can be completed at an estimated cost of $2,100,000.
The CHAIRMAN. And the estimated ratio of cost to benefits is what? General CRAWFORD. Based on the cost to complete the ratio is 1.0 to 1.5 taking into account benefits for water supply, pollution abatement, and power as well as flood-control benefits.
The CHAIRMAN. What will be the result and what is to be accomplished by the completion of that project and what is the estimated cost, did you say?
General CRAWFORD. The estimated cost of completion is $2,100,000. The CHAIRMAN. What local requirements are there. General CRAWFORD. Local interests would furnish $200,000, toward the cost of completing this project and that money is now available. : The CHAIRMAN. What is the purpose of completing the project, what benefits would be received ?
General CRAWFORD. It would furnish flood-control benefits to the communities and agricultural areas below the dam; it would increase the firm power output of the power projects downstream.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any power project in this presentation to us?
General CRAWFORD. No, sir. There is no power project; the benefit would result from firming up the flow.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any question of pollution involved ? General CRAWFORD). Yes, sir; there is a considerable pollution problem on that part of the Potomac River, and it has been estimated that the abatement of that pollution would give returns of about $45,000 annually.
The CHAIRMAN. The Savage River Dam is located where, on this map ?
Mr. BEARD. It is on a tributary of the north branch of the Potomac River, upstream from Cumberland.
The CHAIRMAN. About how far upstream from Cumberland ?
The CHAIRMAN. And there are recurring floods at Cumberland,
The CHAIRMAN. And you have made a flood-protection report on where the dam will be on benefit to Cumberland and to the other communities.
General CRAWFORD. There will be considerable benefit to Cumberland, as I understand it, by the improvement of water supply and the prevention of pollution down in the downstream area. · The CHAIRMAN. Will the territory in West Virginia and in Maryland be benefited in the area below the dam?
General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir; that area would be benefited, but not to the extent of the benefits which would accrue to Cumberland and those cities which are nearer the dam.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have with us Mr. Jennings Randolph who is always interested in flood control and will be pleased to have any statement you may care to submit to the committee, Mr. Randolph.
STATEMENT OF HON. JENNINGS RANDOLPH, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA Mr. RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: This project, as the record shows, has been perhaps 60 to 65 percent completed. It has gone untouched, from the standpoint of further construction, during the emergency caused by the preparation and prosecution of World War II.
The areas in the congressional district which I have the responsibility to represent, which would be benefited by the completion, are the communities of Piedmont, and Keyser, W. Va., principally. Keyser is the county seat of Mineral County, W. Va., with a population, within the corporate limits of the city of 8,000, and a much larger population in the immediate territory, trading area.
Piedmont, some 5 miles west of Keyser in the same county, has a population of approximately 3,000; and the entire area on the West Virginia side of the Potomac River, running to Cumberland, Md., is rather thickly populated; there are many small communities including the two I have mentioned. It embraces an agricultural and grazing area.
We have, as your record well shows, through long years experienced in the upper Potomac as well as in the lower regions of the stream, disastrous floods; floods have recurred with regularity. And we believe that the completion at the earliest and practical date of this dam will return to the over-all economy of the Federal Government in its flood-control program benefits that will outweigh the costs.
We know that there have been local expenditures, principally from the Cumberland area and to a very large degree supplemented by the Works Projects Administration which caused this dam to come into its first construction stages, and now we do believe that strictly upon the figures presented to you and to the committee by the Office of the Chief of Engineers, War Department, that the completion of the Savage River Dam is based upon sound figures and actual needs.
I trust, Mr. Chairman, that the committee will look with favor upon the inclusion of this project or completion in the bill which you now have under consideration.
I thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions by members of the committee?
Mr. Beall, we will be glad to have a further statement from you on other communities, in addition to the Cumberland area, covering the district which you represent so ably. STATEMENT OF HON. J. GLENN BEALL, A REPRESENTATIVE OF
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
say for the beandolph and mynt. and Keyse
Mr. BEALL. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to say for the benefit of the record that this project was inaugurated by Congressman Randolph and my predecessor, the late William D. Byron, to include first the Piedmont and Keyser, W. Va., area, and then also down to Luke and Western Port, Md.
These towns have a total population, of the four towns, of between 30 and 35 thousand people. These towns have been flooded on numerous occasions and at Luke, Md., there is a large pulp and paper company which has a large manufacturing plant, paper manufacturing plant. That plant has an estimated value of some $10,000,000. It has been thrown out of operation for periods of time because of floods in the upper Potomac River.
The Savage River is the chief tributary, or the main tributary to the upper Potomac River, and if this water is held back, so the Engineers have told me, it would help to eliminate the flood hazards that may arise in the future, and for that reason those large populated areas would be benefited.
They would be more benefited in that immediate area, I agree with the Engineers, that it would be more beneficial to that area from flood-control projects than to the Cumberland and points east. And it would contribute eventually to the over-all picture.
The CHAIRMAN. We recall that some statements you have made previously. If you wish to supplement your statement further we will be glad to have you do so. Mr. BEALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. General Crawford, this project was originally initiated during the WPA days; was it under the supervision of the district engineer so far as construction is concerned ?
General CRAWFORD. I understand that we made the design, and the plans; the actual supervision of the construction work was not done by us.
The CHAIRMAN. But even so the Government was protected and is protected on the plans and construction to the extent that the plans were devised by and concurred in by the Engineers? General CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And it is fair to say that in connection with your statement in regard to local contribution that ordinarily the local contributions were on a percentage basis with expenditures under WPA.
General CRAWFORD. Yes; I think it was about $942,000 on this project.
Mr. BEALL. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I am inserting for the record a statement together with its enclosures received by me from the Hon. Millard E. Tydings, United States Senator from the State of Maryland.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
April 19, 1946.
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN WHITTINGTON: I had hoped to be able to appear before your committee today in connection with the Savage River Dam project in western Maryland. However, another important matter to many Marylanders was before the Senate Appropriations Committee and as a member of that committee I found it necessary to be there and consequently could not get to your meeting.
I appreciate very much the opportunity you give me to insert the following statement.
About 1939 the United States Government, through the WPA, entered into an agreement with the Upper Potomac River Commission to construct an earthen dam known as the Savage River Dam.
This work was done on a participating basis, with the WPA contributing 80 percent of the cost and the remaining 20 percent supplied by Allegany County, Ma.
When the WPA was abolished in the summer of 1942 the Upper Potomac River Commission then entered into a contract with a private contractor to complete the construction of the dam under the supervision of the United States Army engineers. This work was started under the new contract and proceeded until the fall or early winter of 1942, when, acting under Army orders, the contractor was sent to Alaska, taking with him all of his equipment, to work on the Alcan Highway.
In the new fiscal year July 1, 1943, the money that was in the United States Treasury to the credit of the Upper Potomac River Commission reverted back to the General Treasury, which left no funds for the completion of the dam.
At the time of suspension a total of approximately $4,000,000 had been spent by the United States Government and the county commissioners of Allegany County on this project.
The dam is now about 75 percent completed and will require but a small percentage of the original cost to finish it. Unless this is done the money that has been spent will serve no useful purpose, whereas the completion of the dam would aid materially in holding the flow of the Potomac River and aid greatly in the elimination of pollution and stagnation. Furthermore, the entire water supply · of the town of Westernport, about 4,000 people, is dependent upon the completion of this dam, and in addition the water therefrom would mean a great deal to three main industries of Allegany County-the Celanese Corp. of America, the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co., and the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co.
I am attaching hereto a letter I received under date of December 3, 1945, from the American Legion of Westernport, Md., urging the completion of this dam, and also a letter received from Dr. Robert H. Riley, director of the Department of Health of the State of Maryland, written me under date of October 27, 1944.
I shall be very much obliged to you if your committee can see fit to make this letter, with the accompanying ones, a part of your testimony in support of the completion of the Savage River Dam. Thanking you, and with best wishes, I am Sincerely yours,
M. E. TYDINGS.
THE AMERICAN LEGION, VICTORY Post No. 155,
Westernport, Md., December 3, 1945. Hon. MILLARD TYDINGS,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: Victory Post No. 155, American Legion, wishes to go on record as favoring the completion of the Savage River Dam. As you well know, this dam was surveyed in 1936 with an appropration of $80,000. The actual construction was begun in October 1939, and suspended in December 1942, to release manpower and materials for war work. At the time of suspension, a total of ap