« PreviousContinue »
reservoir would increase the dependable capacity of existing hydroelectric plants by 6,100 kilowatts and their annual power output by 26,000,000 kilowatt-hours. Falling Spring Dam is planned as a concrete and earth-fill structure solely to reregulate flows. During midsummer, these improvements would increase the minimum monthly flow at Covington from 80 to 410 cubic feet per second. The plan provides for purchase of land around each pool to a minmum width of 200 feet to assure the maximum recreation benefits. The district engineer estimates the construction cost of the improvements at $10,530,000 and the average annual cost at $519,000 including $58,000 for operation and maintenance. Estimated average annual benefits total $896,000 and consist of $90,000 for prevention of flood damages at points as far downstream as Scottsville, mile 185, on James River, $230,000 for pollution abatement, $9,000 for recreation, $422,000 for power produced at the site, and $145,000 for increasing the power value of existing downstream plants. This indicates a ratio of costs to benefits of 1.0 to 1.73. Assuming prior development of the authorized Buggs Island and Philpott Multiple-purpose projects in the Roanoke River Basin and Salem Church multiplepurpose project on Rappa hannock River which is being studied, investigations of the Federal Power Commission indicate that the power output of the Gathright project could be absorbed in the nearby market by 1953. The district engineer computes the cost of the primary and secondary energy producible by this plant at 4.8 and 1.1 mills per kilowatt-hour, respectively.
9. If constructed as planned except for omission of the power facilities the district engineer estimates the construction cost of Gathright Reservoir at $5,820,000, the annual cost at $305,000, and the annual benefits at $474,000 consisting of the benefits of the multiple-purpose improvements excluding the value of the power which could be produced at the site. This indicates a ratio of costs to benefits for the lesser improvement of 1.0 to 1.55. As this is less favorable than the ratio for the improvement with the power facilities and a suitable market for the power is anticipated at an early date, it appears economically preferable to include the power facilities and the related reregulating dam.
10. The district engineer finds that construction of local flood-protection works in the basin is not economically justified at this time except at Richmond. He presents a plan which provides for protecting the two principal damage centers at Richmond, described in paragraph 6 above, by systems of levees, flood walls, pumping plants, sewer changes, and appurtenant works on the right and left banks of James River against a flood stage 7.5 feet higher than the stage reached in 1936. This stage can be expected to be equaled on an average of once in 230 years and greater floods are possible at less frequent intervals. Freeboards proposed are 3 feet for the earth levees and 1 foot for flood walls. The city plans to fill the city dock and make the area available for land-development purposes and the proposed levee line crosses this dock in the vicinity of the lock. Provisions are made in the plan for continued use of the Manchester Canal for supplying water to industries and for water-power development, although the protective works would cross the canal. In view of the local benefits the district engineer believes that local interests should be required to contribute $127,000 to the construction cost ; furnish all rights-of-way; construct necessary sewers; alter existing sewers, drainage works, and utilities; hold the United States free from damages; and maintain and operate the works after completion. On this basis he estimates the cost to the United States for construction at $2,122,000, and the first cost to local interests at $953,000, a total first cost of $3,075,000, and the average annual cost using Federal and non-Federal interest rates of 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively, at $141,200. His estimate of average annual tangible benefits consists of $107,000 for flood-damage prevention and $35,000 for enhancement in the value of undeveloped lands, a total of $142,000, or slightly more than the estimated annual costs. In addition there would be intangible benefits not evaluated in monetary terms such as possible prevention of loss of life and improvement of sanitary conditions.
11. The district engineer recommends adoption of projects to provide for construction of Gathright Reservoir for multiple purposes including the hydroelectric power plant and Falling Spring reregulating dam and of the local protection works at Richmond, substantially as described, the local protection work to be subject to the stated conditions of local cooperation.
12. The division engineer believes that the estimated cost of the multiplepurpose Gathright Reservoir and Falling Spring Dam should be increased to $11,020,000 to allow more for contingencies. He also considers that the estimated cost to the United States for construction of the local protection works at Richmond should be increased to $2,363,000 to provide for constructing the flood walls
with a freeboard of 3 feet and to include more for contingencies. With this revision and using the usual interest rate of 3.5 percent rather than 2 percent for non-Federal funds, he estimates the annual cost for the Richmond work at $162,800 and the ratio of annual costs to annual tangible benefits at 1.0 to 0.87. Considering the importance of the city of Richmond, the intangible benefits that will result and the willingness of local interests to bear a substantial part of the cost, the division engineer believes that expenditure of the required Federal funds is warranted. Subject to the indicated changes in estimated costs and height of flood walls he concurs in the recommendation of the district engineer.
13. After a ffording local interests an opportunity to present additional information and conducting a public hearing, the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors recommends construction of Gathright Reservoir with plant for the development of hydroelectric power and the Falling Spring reregulating dam. It concludes that provision of local protection works at Richmond is not advisable at this time. In regard thereto it notes that if the usual non-Federal interest rate is used in computing the annual cost, the estimated annual cost for the plan of the district engineer exceeds the evaluated annual benefits. Furthermore it considers that this plan is objectionable because of the inadequate height of the protective works. The Board finds that a plan providing for an increased height of 5 feet for the levees and walls so as to give more adequate protection would cost $4,126,000 and that this expenditure cannot be justified by the prospective benefits.
14. Having carefully considered the data and findings presented by the district and division engineers and the Board and the information and views furnished by local interests, I concur generally in the conclusions of the Board. Construction of reservoirs in the watershed solely for flood control is not economically justified at this time. The comprehensive reservoir plan presented should be regarded as subject to modification from time to time and as an indication of what may eventually be accomplished in development of the water resources of the area. In view of the studies of the Federal Power Commission as to the unit values of power, its indication that by 1953 there will be suitable market for the power which can be developed by the proposed Gathright Reservoir improvement and the report of the United States Public Health Service regarding pollution-abatement benefits, it is considered economically advisable to construct this improvement and the appurtenant reregulating dam at an early date. As to local protection works for Richmond, I agree with the Board.
15. Accordingly, I recommend construction of Gathright multiple-purpose reservoir with hydroelectric power plant and Falling Spring reregulating dam on Jackson River, Va., generally in accordance with the plans of the district engineer with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable, at an estimated cost to the United States of $11,000,000 for construction and $60,000 annually for operation and maintenance.
R. A. WHEELER,
Chief of Engineers.
RICHMOND, VA., April 17, 1946. CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY,
Washington, D. O.: Examination of the need and desirability of the proposed Gathright Falling Spring Dam as recommended in the report of the Corps of Engineers in the James River survey report reveals that the local public opinion through resolutions of local governing bodies strongly endorses the proposed project. It appears the project would contribute to the economic development of that area through floodcontrol, pollution-abatement, recreation facilities, and waterpower. In view of local support, obvious need for the project, and the benefits to that area through the construction of the Gathright Falling Spring Dam, the project is endorsed and recommended. It is recommended that further study be given to providing additional recreation facilities.
WILLIAM M. TUOK,
Governor of Virginia. The CHAIRMAN. Now, we have with us Representative J. Lindsay Almond, and he may have some witnesses with him who desire to be heard, and we will be glad to hear from you, Mr. Almond, at this time.
STATEMENT BY J. LINDSAY ALMOND, REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF VIRGINIA
Mr. ALMOND. I want to thank you for the courtesy which has been extended to us. Mr. Moomaw is here from Covington, who is familiar with this whole situation, and in just a moment I want to present him, because he does have some very pertinent facts.
For the record, I want to read a telegram from the Governor of Virginia which was sent to the Chief of Army Engineers, relative to this projects. [Reading :]
Examination of the need and desirability of the proposed Gathright Falling Spring Dam as recommended in the report of the Corps of Engineers in the James River survey report reveals that the local public opinion through resolutions of local governing bodies strongly endorses the proposed project. It appears that the project would contribute to the economic development of that area through flood control, pollution abatement, recreation facilities, and waterpower. In view of local support obvious need for the project and the benefits to that area through the construction of the Gathright Falling Spring Dam, the project is endorsed and recommended. It is recommended that further study be given for providing additional recreational facilities.
Signed by William M. Tuck, Governor of Virginia.
Now, I think I would be trespassing upon the time, Mr. Chairman, to endeavor to explain the project since Mr. Moomaw is here and has considerable information and has given considerable study to this situation. I might say that the town of Covington which is a small industrial center would be beneficially affected by this project, and we feel that the industrial town of Clifton Forge, Va., would be beneficially affected by this project. I want to say in deference to my colleague, Congressman Robertson, who represents the same Virginia district, that if this project is constructed, about 80 percent of the water that would back up from this dam would be in his district. The benefits, however, would accrue to my district.
I am not going on record as to Congressman Robertson's views. I have discuseed it with him, and he will make his views known to the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I would say that there is nothing at all novel or new about your situation. That matter is being constantly brought to our attention. I live below some dams.
Mr. ALMOND. I think, sir, it would be better to turn it over to Mr. Moomaw, who is present, and who is familiar with the situation, to give you more information than I can give you.
I want to say that I am in favor of it and that I think it is a worthy project.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me see, for the record, the James River is 340 miles long. Does it pass by Staunton, Va.? Mr. MOOMAW. No.
The CHAIRMAN. We go down the river from the mouth of the Jackson River, what is the first municipal area that we come to on the way to Richmond ?
Mr. ALMOND. Covington.
the bake basin, miles
Mr. MOOMAW. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. On what tributary?
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other cities of any size between the mouth of that river and the city of Richmond ? Mr. MOOMAW. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What generally is the type of land in the valley of the Jackson River below the dams to its mouth, and how wide is the valley?
Mr. MOOMAW. It varies in width from half a mile to a mile and a half and has some very excellent river bottoms. The river bottoms are very fertile-varying in width from a few hundred feet to perhaps a quarter of a mile.
The CHAIRMAN. Your name is what? Mr. MOOMAW. D. C. Moomaw, Jr. I am secretary of the Chamber of Commerce at Covington.
The CHAIRMAN. I will get back to you in just a moment. Pardon me, Mr. Almond. Where is Waynesboro in connection with this Jackson River ?
Mr. Moomaw. It is entirely out of the basin and some 50 miles. away from the river at the nearest point.
The CHAIRMAN. What river basin? Mr. MOOMAW. Potomac... The CHAIRMAN. And it is located on a tributary of the Potomac? Mr. MOOMAW. It is on the south branch. I beg your pardon, it is on the south branch of the Shenandoah.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Representative Willis Robertson was here when those projects were under consideration, and the committee advised him that we had no reports submitted to us at the time and that there would be no hearings on the projects on the James River. At that time this project was set for hearing at the date stipulated, which was on about the 10th of April, and we hadn't had a report and Mr. M. R. Seabrook, of the Electric Cooperative, at Millsborough, Va., said he would like to have an opportunity to be heard, and, as I understand it, he favors the proposal. We advised him that it would not be heard; and Mr. Julian A. Hickman, of Harrisburg, Va., wanted to know about the Gathright Dam on Jackson River. Is Harrisburg in the headwater area? Mr. MOOMAW. He represented private property owner on the river.
The CHAIRMAN. And the dam proper is located in your district, as I understand, Mr. Almond ? Mr. ALMOND. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. And about 80 percent of the reservoir area is located in Mr. Robertson's area, Mr. Almond ?
that timeould be no hear reports submitten, and the
ook, of the have an oppo We advised hindburg
Mr. ALMOND. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. W. H. Brown, of Bolling Green, Va., wrote in and we advised him that we wouldn't consider the project.
Mr. Almond, you have a witness here you would like to present to us at this time and we will be glad to have the witness heard. Mr. ALMOND. Mr. Moomaw.
The CHAIRMAN. Your name and your place of residence, your business, and profession—and your qualification to testify as to the economical and engineering features of the proposed project involving the dam on the Jackson River, a tributary of the James.
Mr. MOOMAW. B. G. Moomaw, Jr., secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, at Covington, Va.
STATEMENT BY B. G. MOOMAW, JR., SECRETARY OF THE CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE AT COVINGTON, VA. Mr. MooMAw. The great values of the proposed Gathright Dam to Covington and to this general section of Virginia will be in its control and regulation of the flow of Jackson River. These values will be realized in three important ways: 1, the low water stream flow would be increased to such a point as would provide Covington with all the water it would need for its domestic use and its industries for any future which can now be foreseen; 2, the pollution of Jackson River would be abated to the point that we would have a reasonably clean river at all times; 3, we would have control of flood waters to such an extent as would eliminate serious damage from floods as large as any we have had in the past.
In order to get a clear picture of the advantage of increased flow in Jackson River during low-water periods, it is necessary to take a good look at our present situation. The drainage area of Jackson River above Covington is approximately 440 square miles. The flow of the river varies from a maximum of 67,000 cubic feet per second to a minimum of about 60 cubic feet per second. The first figure is a huge flood; the second figure is a severe drought. The first figure represents enormous waste of our water resources; the second figure is a drastic water shortage.
The town of Covington and its industries get their supply of water from Jackson River. Each summer during the dry season there are periods when these users take all the water in the river. These periods may last from several weeks to 2 or 3 months, according to the season. This occurs when the low-water flow reaches what may be called a “normal low" of about 80 cubic feet per second. There are seasons almost every year when the town authorities have to issue orders against sprinkling of lawns, washing cars, and other desirable uses of water. At such times, our needs already are past the factor of safety that we should have in our water supply.
If any of these industries desired to make an expansion at Covington which would require the use of additional large volumes of water, they would be stopped by the fact that such water supplies are not available during our annual low-water period. Or, if the town of Covington desired large additional amounts of water to serve an increasing population and large commercial users, it could only take it, during low-water periods, at the expense of these industries. The