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statistics, and other evidence proving that a vast majority of the people of Barren County, Ky., are in opposition to the project. In addition to the statements made by witnesses, they left with the committee petitions containing over 2,000 names. Although many officials, professional men, and civic organizations were among those signatures, the greatest majority were signatures of farmers whose land will be inundated should the dam be built.
According to the evidence contained in House Document No. 765, Seventyeighth Congress, second session, it would now appear that the report from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, has practically eliminated the feasibility or possibility of the Jews Harp Dam project and the Long Reach site in that: "Surface examination * * * disclosed that the underlying limestone strata might be difficult to seal which made the construction of a safe and effective dam questionable.” However, the same report went on to say that: · "From the geographical and surface features revealed thus far at Pageville and Port Oliver sites, it appears that a safe and effective dam can be constructed at either point.” We are opposed to any dam construction on the Barren River chiefly because : (1) A dam is not needed. (2) It is not wanted. (3) Expense involved would not justify the construction.
(4) It would destroy the most fertile and productive soil for the farmers of Barren County.
(5) Loss of tax revenue to county and school system.
(6) Rerouting of two principal highways and other smaller roads in the county at a tremendous cost.
(7) There is no evidence contained in the report from the Army's Chief of Engineers that there is any need for flood control in this area.
(8) There is no need for power, inasmuch as power lines from the Gilbertsville and other dam projects are within a radius of some 12 to 15 miles from Glasgow, Ky.
Statistics show that the farm income of Barren County in the year 1944 averaged $33.50 per acre for the entire county. Using the time-honored 5-to-1 ratio, this amounts to $167.50 per acre and when it appears that in excess of 21,000 acres of the most fertile river-bottom land will be completely inundated, should the dam be constructed, the loss will be $3,507,000, annually.
The above figures are well substantiated by climatic conditions which are reported in House Document 765, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, on page 14, paragraph 23, wherein it states, among other things : "The crop-growing seasons are long and the winters are usually short and mild, with freezing temperatures lasting not more than a few days at a time.”
A review of page 17, House Document 765, paragraphs 29, 31, 32, and 33 bear out our contention that Barren County is an agricultural center and “The flood plain area of Barren River is devoted primarily to agriculture and in an average year about 80 percent of the total area of 18,340 acres is planted in crops. The soil is reasonably fertile, most of which belongs to the Untington series. Except for a few localities, it is well drained, and during favorable growing seasons (few are unfavorable) good crop yields are realized. The principal crop is corn which accounts for about 60 percent of the total crop area. Other crops are hay, soybeans, alfalfa, small grains, and tobacco * * * some of the land lying along the river is more intensely cultivated than any other portion of the watershed.”
Fear and uncertainty of construction of dam has created havoc amongst the farmers. Confusion, turmoil, and strife have completely wrecked all land sales.
The quotation taken from the Army engineers' report: "Except for a few localities, it is well drained" seems to me to bear out the contention of the delegation which appeared here before this committee of the people of Barren County that flood control is not needed.
The further fact that much power is already available in the immediate vicinity of Glasgow, Ky., the county seat of Barren County, does, I believe, show that there is, likewise, no need for power at this point.
Since there is, therefore, no need for either flood control or power, it seems to me that an appropriation of some $17,000,000 of the Federal Government funds would be extremely wasteful. Especially is this true when there is such a "crying need” for flood control at other points within Kentucky and throughout the Nation. In the Fourth Congressional District, which I have the honor to represent, for example, there is a far greater need for Federal aid on flood control at Taylorsville, in Spencer County, Shepherdsville, in Bullitt County, Hawesville,
in Hancock County, and at Cloverport, in Breckinridge County. Taylorsville and Shepherdsville have suffered tremendously in recent years due to flash floods resulting from the backwaters of Salt River, while Cloverport has sustained frequent and terrible loss of property, as a result of the condition of the Ohio River at that point.
The fact of the matter is, the communities of Taylorsville and Shepherdsville have suffered devastating property losses due to a complete lack of flood walls or other flood-control construction, Therefore, it is respectfully requested that the towns herein mentioned within my district which so badly need flood control and Government åssistance be given such aid and that the contemplated construction of the Port Oliver Dam in Barren County, Ky., be finally and completely rejected.
Attached hereto is a telegram which was received by me on April 10 from Mr. Leonard Preston, chairman of the Port Oliver Dam committee of the Glasgow Lions Club, which is self-explanatory and which I desire to have placed in the record.
GLASGOW, Ky., April 10, 1946. Congressman FRANK CHELF, House of Representatives,
The Capitol, Washington, D. C. Please lend every assistance to Wilson Burk and the Barren County delegation in their fight against the building of a dam on Barren River at Port Oliver. The small amount of revenue that could be received from power production should this dam be built and operated at capacity would be considerably less than the average annual net income now received from the farmers who live in the af. fected area. Soil conservation, terrace farming, and reforestation in the Barren River area would do more to relieve the dangers of flood than would the dam. The cost of such a project would be less and the value of the land in the territory affected would be considerably more if the soil-conservation program were carried out. We ask your cooperation in fighting the Port Oliver Dam.
LEONARD W. PRESTON, Chairman, Port Oliver Dam Committee, Glasgow Lions Club. Mr. CLEMENTS. I want to do that same thing. Allen County joins Barren County and is affected very similarly. (The matter referred to follows:)
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., April 16, 1946. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON, Chairman, Committee on Flood Control,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR CHAIRMAN WHITTINGTON: Under date of April 9, 1945, arguments were presented before the Flood Control Committee in opposition to the construction of a dam on the Barren River at the Port Oliver site in Allen County, Ky., as recommended by the War Department and set forth in House Document No. 765, Seventy-eighth Congress.
The people of Allen County feel that the construction of this proposed dam would be inimical to their best interests, in that it would inundate and thus eliminate the use of considerable acreage comprising the most valuable river bottom lands in Allen County, thus destroying splendid farm lands and forcing the people now occupying and earning a living from those lands to leave Allen County, which exodus would work a severe hardship on the entire county. The taxpayers of this area who would be adversely affected by the construction of this proposed dam are of the opinion that such a dam is not needed and that its construction would result not only in the destruction of the afore-mentioned valuable farm lands but also result in the loss of vitally needed tax revenues which would prove · detrimental to both the school and road systems of Allen County,
You will find attached copy of a petition, the original of which I filed with the Chief of Engineers, War Department, on February 5, 1946, sent to me by a group of landowners in Allen County protesting against the construction of the proposed dam at Port Oliver,
As Allen County is located in the Second Congressional District of Kentucky, which I represent, and as I naturally have a direct and immediate interest in the welfare of the residents of that county I desire to make of record with your com
mittee their protest in this connection. There is seemingly a unanimity upon the part of Allen County citizens in opposition to the building of the dam at Port Oliver and I respectfully petition your consideration of their views on this matter. With best wishes, I am, Sincerely yours,
EARLE C. CLEMENTS, M. C.
SCOTTSVILLE, Ky., January 1, 1946. Hon. EARLE C. CLEMENTS, Congressman of the Second District of Kentucky,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CLEMENTS: We, the undersigned owners of bottom lands in Allen County, Ky., which would be submerged by water if the proposed dam should be built across Barren River near Port Oliver in Allen County, Ky., do most respectfully protest against the building of said dam for the following reasons :
That no dam is needed for flood control in Barren River, because there is not an average of one crop in 10 years being destroyed by floodwater in Barren County.
· If such a dam should be built, it would flood and submerge all of the river bottoms in Allen County and the creek bottoms on such creeks as flow into Barren • River above said dam.
We have thousands of acres of very productive river-bottom land and creekbottom land that would be submerged, thereby destroying the most valuable agricultural lands in this county.
Allen County is not a wealthy county, and this dam would destroy a great deal of our most valuable property, not only for producing large crops, but for taxation as well, and we would not receive enough taxes, we believe, to properly carry on the functions of government and especially to support our schools. We are not collecting the maximum tax rate for the county and schools, and if this property should be destroyed it would be impossible to collect enough taxes to maintain our schools at the present standards, and we most respectfully request that there be no dam erected or constructed at said proposed site.
Most respectfully submitted.
SCOTTSVILLE, KY., January 1, 1946. Hon. EARLE C. CLEMENTS, Congressman, Second District of Kentucky,
Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CLEMENTS: We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Allen County, Ky., do hereby request and petition you to oppose the construction of a dam across Barren River at Port Oliver in Allen County, Ky., because we think it would do great damage to this county.
There is no flood problem here in reference to the water of Barren River.
We understand that it is a rare thing that the crops in the bottoms are destroyed on account of floodwaters, and, while we have no lands that would be affected and are not directly interested from that standpoint, we are interested as taxpayers and citizens of Allen County, because if this dam should be constructed it would submerge and destroy the value of many thousand acres of our agricultural lands along the river and creeks that flow into said river above said proposed dam, and it would also destroy a great deal of valuable property for tax purposes, and we need all the taxes obtainable in order to carry on our county government and for our schools, and we certainly hope that this dam will not be constructed. Very respectfully submitted. " The CHAIRMAN. Some of your land is taken for the reservoir ?' Mr. CLEMENTS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The people for whom you speak oppose the reservoir ?
Mr. CLEMENTS. In Allen County.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any counties below the reservoir in your district ? Mr. CLEMENTS. I have them all the way to the Ohio River.
The CHAIRMAN. In this connection I pass to the reporter this statement, on that Port Oliver project, of Mr. B. R. Edmunds. (The document referred to is as follows:)
Tulsa, OKLA., April 4, 1946. Hon. WILL M. WHITTINGTON, Chairman, Committee on Flood Control,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Re $17,100,000 Port Oliver (Ky.) Dam, House Document No. 765, Seventy-eighth
Congress. DEAR MR. WHITTINGTON: At the time I received your esteemed letter of January 18, 1916, I planned to go to Glasgow, Ky., gather data against this dam, and I hoped to address the outraged farmers in Barren and Allen Counties, Ky., to the end that a monster petition of protest be signed and sent to our Congressman, Hon. Frank L. Chelf. Naturally, we would appeal to Senators Barkley and Stanfill to help us.
During the first 60 days the good people opposing this dam have energetically gone to work, and this much has been done, to my knowledge, out here.
(1) Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Barren County Board of Education have passed resolutions of protest.
(2) Several protest meetings have been held, and a United States engineer came down from Louisville to confirm the worst fears of the angry people as to how many acres would be forever fiooded. A few dam apologists (would-be gravy-train riders) had circulated the canard that only a few acres would be flooded, etc. We nailed such lies in public.
(3) Petitions were sent out for affected landowners and other citizens to sign, protesting the dam. Congressman Chelf should have these petitions ere this. I hope you ask him about them.
(4) Our Barren County people have been conducting a quiz that constitutes a fair economic survey. Reading House Document No. 765 shows that no such survey was made in spite of the recommendation of a district engineer to that effect. I hope the summarized result of this survey, which was conducted by Barren County Planning Council, I believe, reaches your committee by April 10, which date, I understand, is the one Ohio River flood-control matters will be begun on.
(5) Hon. E. Ross Settle, chairman of the antidam committee, and Superintendent Wilson Burks, Barren County schools, chairman of Barren County Planning Council, will appear before your committee April 10, working closely with our Congressman Chelf. These patriots deserve every consideration at the hands of Congress, for this is democracy at its best. Messrs. Settle and Burks have the horse-sense approach to these silly dams, and I am sure they can convince you that the dam is neither wanted by local people nor necessary for either fiood control or power. We have more power than we know what to do with in the great coal State of Kentucky
So, having a hard job for a man of my age out here, ard noting that my people were taking active steps to fight the dam, I joined them from here. They are fighting a great fight, but why they should have to God only knows, for no individual or agency have yet brought forward any reason for this dam except that if 36,000 acres were inundated above the dam 18,340 would be protected against annual losses of $26,000 below the dam, maybe. This to cost $17,100,000.
I have spent several hundred hours of research on this dam. I have consulted engineers galore. In spite of what others have done, and I hope helping the cause, I am going to again review the proposed Port Oliver Dam in a personal sense. I loathe the idea of the dam; want my own protest on record with you for posterity.
My name is Bryant R. Edmunds. I am a supervisor of statistics in the office of a corporation at Tulsa, Okla. Many of my associates in a big machine are looking forward to the day when they can become individual operators, owning some small business of their own. A surprising number plan to retire sometime to a farm.
I have always dreamed of retiring on part of my grandfather's 1,000 acres he acquired about 1800. He had left New Glasgow, Va., to help build Glasgow, Ky. I own about 220 acres of this original tract, other cousins own most of the rest, but only my part is on the creek that will all become a lake.
It has always been may intention to go to this farm at the appropriate time. I wanted to hold my job in order to provide certain things on the farm that
could only be acquired by years of labor and sacrifice. So my surplus earnings have eith(:r gone into improvements or have been laid aside for the time when I could personally supervise these improvements.
That farm has been in my family for over 140 years. Other families owning land to be destroyed by this man-made flood are similar to mine. We are almost the original Americans, and now it is proposed to dispossess us and break up this traditional relationship in a most arbitrary and cruel manner.
In the Flood Control Act of 1938, Congress authorized a flood-control dam on Barren River, Ky., to cost $7,400,000. This would flood 14,900 acres. Now in House Document No. 765, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, E. Reybold, Chief of Engineers, recommended that this project be extended to include power, at an additional cost of $9,700,000, making a total cost of $17,100,000. This enlarged dam will put water to an elevation of 625 feet, will be 174 feet high, an enormous thing in our peaceful valley. The lake will inundate 36,000 and give flood protection to 18,310 acres below the dam.
It is proposed to install 50,000 kilowatts of generating power. The flowage is such that a minimum continuous load of only 7,300 kilowatts is possible, but the installation of 50,000 kilowatte in two units will make it possible to generate 105,000,000 kilowatt-hours per year. This is not much for such a large installation. So the plant only operates at a miserable 15 percent load factor, and is only useful therefore to serve as a peaking load for some large customer that needs a peaking load. No such customer exists except a utility company. Such a company may have its own peaking capacity in a water-power plant of its own. There is nothing in the report to indicate if or when a sale might be made for this 15 percent load factor power. In fact, the Chief of Engineers in his letter (p. 2), says the district engineer "assumed that all: power would be salable" (p. 27) but (p. 27) it is specifically stated that “a power market survey of this. area * * * has not been made."
For this extra expenditure of $9,700,000 for 15 percent power, the engineer estimated an annual benefit of $957,400, with an additional cost of $638,900 (p. 2) or a ratio of benefits to cost, of $1.50 to $1. This estimated benefit, of course, depends upon the salability of the power and the price received. Of this 105,000,000 kilowatt-hours, the engineer estimates 64,000,000 would be primary (or dependable) power and 41,500,000 secondary power (p. 2) nevertheless, in computing benefits, he figures all this power at the same value (p. 31), whereas it is well known that the secondary, or dump power, as it is sometimes called, has a lower value on a sale price much less than primary power. Furthermore, while the average capacity of the river plant at 100 percent load factor is only 7,300 kilowatts, the engineers in computing the sale price of the power generated, figured the entire 50,000 kilowatts at a value of $12.50 annually, whereas this capacity could only operate when there is a flood condition on the river or in those brief intervals when the flow is high and/or the storage full. These intervals might be far apart, or of such duration as to be worthless even to a large utility. Hence, the value of this power is greatly overestimated.
This dam is almost without flood-control value to any part of Kentucky. Actually it is proposed to destroy by forever flooding 36,000 acres above the dam to offer $25,650 possible annual protection to 18,310 acres between Port Oliver and Woodbury, Ky. No figures are presented in House Document No. 765 showing any other flood-control benefits for the $7,400,000 expenditure. I presume there must be some downstream benefits, but I am without data. Certainly there would be more flood-control benefits if such dams were kept empty, to function honestly, and not by subterfuge.
We know that in 1944 Barren County, Ky., the chief sufferer among the 11 counties in the Barren River Basin, had $9,440,000 farm income from its 3,200 farms containing (1940 census) 281,842 acres, or $33.50 per acre. Rich bottom land produces double this, so we may be certain that the 36,000 fertile acres produce $2,500,000 today. No accurate county farm operating cost data are available during these war years, but the average United States cost was 43 percent in 1934. Using this percent, the cost would be $1,075,000, the net (57 percent, $1,425,000), which means those bottoms when farmed produce nearly four and one-half times the puny $318,500 when flooded to provide a few fat jobs for politicos. The actual profit from these 36,000 is much greater, too, for the cashout-of-pocket expense is not running over $300,000 annually. Farm operating costs are not nearly as high in Kentucky as in the United States as a whole.
Roads and dams mainly call for labor and cement. Here in Oklahoma Governor Kerr has recently gone to Washington to explain why the postwar road-contruction program will cost from one and a half to three times the prewar estimate.