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most historical places right across from Fredericksburg. He was connected with considerable war service during the war.
The CHAIRMAN. We are delighted to have that information.
STATEMENT OF HON. W. M. KING, MAYOR OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.
Mayor King. I just want to clear up one or two things. The first one I would like to point out is that these floods have been increasing tremendously. The damage from the flood of 1889 was $895,000. The damage from the flood in 1937 was $1,401,550. In 1942 the damage was $2,517,600. Of course, I realize there has been an increase in value of property, but not any such figure as that. Each time the water has risen higher and higher. I have been through two of these floods during my terms of office, and each one of them has been worse.
Another thing I would like to point out to the committee is that Fredericksburg is located on route 1, one of the most important highways in the United States. During both of the floods of 1937 and 1942 traffic on that highway was disrupted pretty nearly 24 hours. The city of Fredericksburg was cut off from the capital city of Richmond. For 24 hours we had to stand alone. It was necessary in each case to proclaim martial law, not that we had any disorders, but for the protection of the people. Fortunately, we had no loss of life. We had to bring the health authorities in, and practically everybody in town was vaccinated.
Of course, as you all know, Fredericksburg is one of the oldest cities in America. All of the business section was built down in the watershed on our old Main Street, which we now call Caroline Street. That is right at the foot of the river. When those floods come we have very little warning, and they rise very rapidly. In a short while our whole business section was flooded in both of those floods. You had to go to town in boats. We now keep three boats just for that purpose. From a health standpoint, it is a dangerous thing.
I do not think I can add any more, except I would like to read for the record my letter to Governor Tuck.
The CHAIRMAN. As I recall it, you and the Governor are very good friends?
Mayor KING. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I believe you managed his campaign? Mayor King. That is correct. May I read the letter? The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed to read the communication. Mayor King. The letter reads as follows: Gov. WILLIAM M. TUCK,
State Capitol, Richmond, Va. DEAR GOVERNOR : I am writing to you in behalf of the proposed report on the Rappa hannock River and tributaries recommending what is designated as the Salem Church project for flood control for the city of Fredericksburg.
As you know, this city has suffered severely from floods in recent years and there have been two very disastrous and costly ones during my terms of office.
Our people are vitally interested in this matter from every angle as recommended and submitted by the Board of Engineers pursuant to a resolution of the Congress.
The city council appointed a committee composed of Councilman A. B. Young; Hon. C. O'Conor Coolrick, city attorney; Clerk James Ashby; and Mr. John Lee Pratt, of Stafford County-the town of Falmouth in Stafford County has also suffered disastrously from floodwaters—and myself to take this matter up with our representatives in the Congress and our Congressman, S. Otis Bland, has worked long and faithfully to secure this project for our city and we, of Fredericksburg, trust that the State planning board, which I understand you appointed to deal for you in this matter, and yourself will endorse this project and forward it to Washington for approval of the Congress.
Our city council and our people generally are heartily and enthusiastically in favor of it and would naturally be most disappointed if the project was disapproved.
I talked with Chairman Long over the telephone and he advised me that he was sending his report to you and no doubt it is now on your desk and he suggested that I write and tell you certain things that might be pertinent for your consideration of the matter :
1. As stated to Mr. Long, I know of only one person in this city who has been outspoken against it, Mr. Cecil L. Reid, a consulting civil engineer who has represented the power interests for years.
2. Our people are not interested in the power angle, known as the Fredericksburg project, especially if it would jeopardize the other part of the bill.
3. The Board of Supervisors of Spottsylvania County have taken no action in the matter and for that matter no protest has been presented by any citizen of the county to the government of the city of Fredericksburg nor to the board of supervisors, so I am advised by the clerk of the board, Mr. W. Cary Crismond.
4. Insofar as I am advised, no major State highways are materially affected thereby, and that in the appropriation provision has been made for the necessary changes in rerouting.
5. Insofar as I am advised, there are no large farms affected and very little of the land to be taken is cultivable or rich farming land.
6. In the opinion of the government of the city of Fredericksburg, the importance of this project in providing flood protection and improved sanitary conditions would offset any other considerations in this matter; the saving to the citizens of this commonwealth, the Army engineers estimated a loss of $2,517,600 for the flood of October 1942; $1,401,550 for the flood of April 1937; and $850,000 for the flood of 1889; they estimate the average annual flood loss as $99,200 at Fredericksburg and Falmouth and $191,030 for the entire basin is a most important consideration.
In view of the above, and the report of the Army engineers, I sincerely trust that you will approve this project.
I understand the report has to be in Washington on Monday.
The CHAIRMAN. If there are any other citizens you would like to name, then, you may do so, that their presence may be noted.
Mayor King. The only other member that I did not present was Mr. A. B. Young, member of the city council. We did not attempt to bring any large delegation, but I think we represent the 12,000 people of the city of Fredericksburg.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is a wise course.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other opponents or proponents that desire to be heard ?
STATEMENT BY H. W. ANDERSON, JR., COUNSEL FOR VIRGINIA
ELECTRIC POWER CO. Mr. ANDERSON. I am counsel for Virginia Electric Power Co. We are also interested in this proposed dam hearing, not only from the fact that we own land but we also have a plant in the Fredericksburg area which may or may not be very vitally affected.
All I want to do is to second the motion made by Mr. Smith and others for the continuance and at the same time have it understood that we may present one or two witnesses on our phase.
The CHAIRMAN. You may confer with Representative Smith. Is Mr. Brown present?
finance of vil in the recof reseryphe associne
STATEMENT BY W. H. BROWN, BOWLING GREEN, VA. Mr. BROWN. I am William H. Brown, of Bowling Green, Va. I appear here as secretary of the Virginia REA Association which is composed of the 15 REX-financed electrict cooperatives serving more than 27, 000 rural families in 72 of Virginia's 100 counties.
Our association is deeply interested in the recommendations made by the Chief of Engineers for the development of reservoir projects on the Rappahannock and James Rivers in Virginia. The association enthusiastically endorses these projects and has authorized me to state its unqualified approval of the War Department's recommendations for the construction of the Gathright and Falling Springs Reservoirs on the James River and the Salem Church Reservoir on the Rappahannock River. The multipurpose developments which have been recommended have met with the general approval of rural people in the areas affected. While the primary interest of this association and its members is in the hydroelectric features of the developments, we recognize and desire the benefits to be derived in the way of flood control, abatement of pollution, and the development of recreational and wildlife facilities. Not only the agricultural interest of the State but also the commercial and industrial interests, as well as the general public good, will be materially advanced by the development of these rivers on the multipurpose basis proposed by the War Department.
While we have not had an opportunity to study all of the engineering details, we wish to express our complete confidence in the proposals of the Corps of Engineers. We feel certain that development of these projects under their supervision will assure realization of the maximum benefit with the minimum of harm to any interests. In this connection it may be noted that each of the sites selected for development has long been under consideration for power development and that they are largely undeveloped and sparsely settled. As a matter of fact, flowage rights have in each case been acquired by power-company interests. There will be little, if any, agricultural or other usable land retired by the developments. Local sentiment in the areas where these developments would occur is overwhelmingly in favor of them.
We have just learned that the committee will not take up at this time the James River project. Mr. S. A. Tankersley, president of the B-A-R-C Electric Cooperative of Millsboro, Va., and Mr. M. R. Seabrooke, manager of that cooperative are both here favoring that project. They received notice of the postponement too late to change their plans. I am informed that several of the local interests supporting the James River development had intended to appear here in favor of the development. We sincerely hope that your committee will be in a position to consider the James River project in time for its inclusion in the 1946 flood-control bill. We urge the inclusion of the Rappahannock River project in the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. How far are you from Fredericksburg ?
STATEMENT BY DONALD WALKER, CULPEPER, VA. Mr. WALKER. I am one of the parties that would be flooded, rather than helped, by this, and I just want to say that I think that when we are to be heard at a later date, that we can show a very different picture.
The CHAIRMAN. We are always interested in pictures.
I am inserting for the record a resolution by the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce, Richmond, Va., signed by Mr. Verbon E. Kemp, executive secretary, and a resolution by the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, Roanoke, Va., signed by Mr. B. F. Moomaw, Secretary.
VIRGINIA STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Richmond, Va. Hon. WILLIAM M. WHITTINGTON, Chairnian, Committee on Flood Control,
i House of Representatives.
Whereas the Federal Government proposes the development of multipurpose dams including power generation in connection with certain Virginia rivers in competition with private industry; and
Whereas the multipurpose dams contemplated and proposed involve permanent inundation of whole towns and large areas of productive farm lands, highways, schools, churches, graveyards, railroads, all of which will have a major effect on the entire State economy; and
Whereas it seems unwise for the Federal Government to spend large sums of money for power generation and transmission facilities when it is operating on a deficit budget, and at a time when all available labor and materials are urgently needed for veterans' housing and reconversion; and
Whereas we are unalterably opposed to any form of Government competition with the business and the industry of its citizens under any guise whatsoever; and
Whereas flood control dams can be built for a fraction of the cost of multipurpose dams and would involve only periodic flooding of small land areas: Now, therefore,
We respectfully request the United States Government to defer approval of any flood control dams involving power generation in Virginia until the facts concerning the individual projects, including the various flood control methods and the effects on the State economy, are widely publicized so that the citizens may be informed and given ample opportunity to express their views.
The official action of the executive committee of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce, attested by
VERBON E. KEMP, Executive Secretary.
RESOLUTION OPPOSING GOVERNMENT COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE INDUSTRY PARTICU
LARLY IN THE FIELD OF ELECTRIC POWER
(Authorized and approved by the directors of the Chamber of Commerce of
Roanoke, Va., November 29, 1945) Whereas the Federal Government proposes the development of power and flood control projects in connection with certain Virginia streams in competition with private industry and effecting large areas in which cities and towns are located; and
Whereas a recommendation made by the State planning board has been approved by the Governor of the State of Virginia to conduct a comprehensive study of eight river basins in this State with the view of determining the possibility of their full development; and
Whereas for a numebr of years the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce has gone on record as opposed to any form of government competition with the business and the industry of its citizens under any guise whatsoever and in particular has repeatedly opposed any form of government competition with private industry in the field of electric power: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce concurs in the recommendation made by the State planning board and approved by the Governor of the State of Virginia to conduct a comprehensive study of certain river basins in the Commonwealth to determine the possibility of their full development so far as flood control is concerned; be it further
Resolved, That the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce hereby reaffirms its opposition to any form of government competition with the business and industry of the citizens and in particular in the field of electric power and specifically the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the Federal Government development of power projects on and along the Roanoke River and its tributaries in competition with private industry; be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce notify Virginia's representatives in Congress, the Governor of the State of Virginia, the State planning board and other chambers of commerce in this State of this action. Attest:
B. F. MOOMAW, Secretary.