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On May 5, 1953, a meeting of members of 17 distribution cooperatives, representing 36,973 cooperative members and 16 municipals from western Iowa, representing 16,186 meters, was held at Ida Grove, Iowa. Considerable interest was shown at this meeting, after which a resolution was presented and adopted in support of restoring funds for the completion of the Missouri River development.
A copy of the resolution and a list of organizations supporting same is attached.
Therefore, we of the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative heartily support the continuation of the development of the dams on the Missouri River and urge your support on construction of same.
Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. Chairman, if you will bear with me for just a minute, I want to present some other people. They all have statements which I ask be made a part of the Record. I shall call them by name and kindly ask that they stand as their names are called.
Mr. Alvern S. Wendell, director of the Woodbury County Rural Electric Cooperative Association and vice president of the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperatives.
Frank Z. Soukup, a member and director of the Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative.
Henry Howe, director of the Plymouth Electric Cooperative Association.
J. Dean Jorgensen, manager of the Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative.
Gerald Custer, manager of the Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative
William J. Crowley, manager of the O'Brien County Rural Electric Cooperative.
Charles L. Pullen, manager of the Ida County Rural Electric Cooperative and president of the managers section, Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
E. A. Raun, attorney for the South Crawford Rural Electric Cooperative.
John E. White, attorney for the Ida County Rural Electric Cooperative
Glenn Bergland, manager of the Winnebago Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Last but not least, Mrs. Marlys Koopman, attorney at law, of Sibley, Iowa, who represents the Lyon and Osceola Power Cooperative.
The statements on behalf of the witnesses just presented are submitted herewith for the record at this point.
(The statements are as follows:)
STATEMENT OF ALVERN S. WENDELL, DIRECTOR WOODBURY COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC
('OOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION, DIRECTOR, NORTH WEST IOWA POWER INC. GENTLEMEN : I am A. S. Wendell, a farmer from Bronson, Woodbury County, Iowa. I am here not only to represent the 2,100 farm families of my REA cooperative, but in the hopes that you might better understand the great need for the completion on schedule of the Pick-Sloan plan for the control of the Missouri River, not alone for the thousands of farm and urban families in this great river basin, but for the national economy as a whole.
First, I wish to thank the committee for this opportunity to present our case.
It was just 8 years ago that the first hearings on the Missouri Basin devedopment were held. At that time, the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers each had a plan, very similar, but yet different. These two plans were merged to form the Pick-Sloan plan. This plan was born after many thousands of man-hours, as well as millions of dollars, had been spent on research and surveys.
The Pick-Sloan plan was authorized by the Congress and funds were provided to start the work on the sis main stem dams that were to furnish flood control, navigation, irrigation, and vast recreation fields, as well as large blocks of cheap hydroelectric power. This plan for harnessing the wild Missouri has not only withstood the careful scrutiny of its friends but the most harrassing attacks of its enemies. We in the basin feel that it is not only complete and worth many times its cost, but that the money spent will be returned many times through increased production and flood control. And furthermore, we think it is the duty of the Congress to preserve and develop all our natural resources for the future economic stability of the people.
In Woodbury County, we are interested primarily in flood control, navigation, and power. During the 1952 flood, we had thousands of acres of our most productive farmland under water, as well as a complete loss of hundreds of acres which were washed away or covered with sand. The agricultural loss in Woodbury County was great, but it was the smallest of any county along the river in Iowa. You have no doubt been told many times of the tremendous loss to our cities and towns from last year's flood.
We have great hopes that along with the completion of the dams and an even flow of water we will get our bank stabilization and navigation from Sioux City to Omaha.
Some 26,000 farm families in western Iowa have borrowed $8 million through the REA Administrator for the purpose of building transmission lines from their various substations to the substation of the United States Bureau of Reclamation. This money is, of course, to be paid back, with interest. We received these loans because we had contracts with the United States Bureau of Reclamation to deliver is a given amount of power at a stated price. The Bureau of Reclamation no doubt anticipated in their selling contracts that the dams would be completed on schedule.
Gentlemen, the demand for electric power is growing so fast that all the Missouri Basin power will be absorbed as fast as the generators are installed. Some of our cooperatives have never had an adequate supply of power.
We most sincerely ask your cooperation in the development of this great river basin. It is the very breadbasket of America and all segments of our society will benefit. With the Pick-Sloan plan, approximately 50 percent complete, we ask that the entire plan proceed on schedule.
We are particularly anxious that funds be appropriated for Gavins Point and Oahe. Gavins Point not only provides an even flow of water from Yankton down river, but operated in conjunction with Fort Randall, it produces an abundance of very cheap power. In Iowa we are also much concerned about Gavins Point, because it would put southwest Iowa in the anticipated power marketing area.
In order that the whole basin program may function as planned, Oahe must be completed on schedule. It would be very poor economy to delay any Oahe construction and thereby jeopardize the millions already spent. I am sure the engineers have already told you that Oahe is the key to the whole Missouri Basin development. Without Oahe the wild Missouri would soon be as wild as ever.
And, Gentlemen, in closing, may I again ask that each of you do all in your power to provide adequate funds so that this great river may be put to work for the benefit of all our people. If this is done, I am sure that in the future you will point to the greatest of river developments and say with pride, “I helped to create this new world.”
STATEMENT OF FRANK Z. SOUKUP
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I am Frank Z. Soukup, of Woodbine, Iowa. I have been a member and a director of the Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative since its beginning in 1936, and its treasurer for all these years except this year. I am a senior member of the Soukup firm which operates 4 feed farms of some 1,000 acres in Harrison County.
I want to call your attention to some facts about the development of the Missouri River Basin and how it will affect the project I represent-the Harrison
County Rural Electric Cooperative. I am speaking for some 2,200 family members of this cooperative and I also represent some 1,400 members of the Woodbine municipal light plant of Woodbine, Harrison County, Iowa. My remarks will be confined to the development of the Oahe Dam and how it affects these members.
Some 16 percent of the Nation's population is engaged in production of food and fiber. Electricity is a very important labor device in production and if these members cannot have all of the electric service they need in production, our Nation will suffer a very heavy loss due to the lack of labor on the farm and in the city homes, especially those families who depend on it, so they may take their time for other work that they do to help carry on the economy.
Now let us think about the Oahe Dam appropriation which is in question at this time. There is an old saying “A problem well planned is one half completed." The Corps of Army Engineers have ably planned for the development of the Missouri River. Appropriations have been granted to start the Oahe Dam and if construction is delayed, these cooperatives and municipal plants cannot produce to full capacity at the best. The members of this cooperative in 1937 used 42 kilowatt-hours per month and now they use some 300 kilowatt-hours per month, This increase shows our need, and if in the next 16 years we increase at that rate, we will need some 600 kilowatt-hours per member per month. Now, in our opinion, we cannot produce to full benefit without the increased power from this Oahe Dam.
As I see this problem on the Oahe Dam, why not finish the things we need now and be ready for the future when the need comes? Let us work for the benefit of our own nation now. Electricity is what we need for production.
STATEMENT OF HENRY Howe, DIRECTOR, PLYMOUTH ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE
ASSOCIATION, HINTON, IOWA Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Henry Howe, of Hinton, Iowa, director of Plymouth Electric Cooperative Association, a member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association which is the service organization of some 934 rural electric systems in 42 States and Alaska serving approximately 344 million farm families. We are here in behalf of several projects that are important to the rural electrification program.
For many years prior to 1935, I tried to get electricity to my farms. I first purchased a wind generator. This was adequate for a few years, but it was not long before this wind plant was unable to furnish the electricity I had need for to operate my farm.
When an REA project was organized in my county, I was one of the first to agree to take service on my farm and those of my tenants. I have always encouraged my tenants to make the greatest possible use of electricity in doing the hundreds of jobs there are to do because, with the shortage of dependable farm help, there was no other way to get them done at a profit.
With the development of the Missouri River, we in northwest Iowa are in hopes of getting a more adequate and cheaper supply of dependable electricity. Therefore, as a director of an REA project and a farmer, I trust that nothing is done to reduce the generating capacity of the Missouri Basin development. I am sure there are thousands of farmers in northwest Iowa who will agree with what I have said and will join with me in asking that the developments on the Missouri be continued on schedule. I urge you to appropriate funds for these projects.
STATEMENT OF J. DEAN JORGENSEN, MANAGER, NISHNABOTNA VALLEY RURAL
ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, HARLAN, IOWA Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is J. Dean Jorgensen, manager of the Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, Harlan, Iowa. The Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative serves approximately 3,100 farm meters in an area very vital to the beef production of the Nation.
I am here with the hope of giving information which in effect will aid you in supporting the furtherance of the projects along the Missouri River. It is imperative to the Missouri Basin States that these projects be carried through to their completion for many reasons, some of which I will attempt to bring to your attention. I will use the area I represent as a basic example.
The Nishnabotna Valley Rural Electric Cooperative serves approximately 3,100 farm meters. These farms used an average of 394 kilowatt-hours per farm for the month of April 1953. This represents an increase of nearly 100 percent since 1948. The trend is still on the upgrade. The peak demand for the system has also grown in proportion and constitutes a problem in local generation. We are now purchasing power from three different sources, all of which have had limitations upon the amount that could be purchased at one time or another.
The cost of this power is fast becoming prohibitive to us as a cooperative unless we are able to secure ample supply elsewhere at lower cost or raise the retail rates to our consumers. The purpose of the rural electrification program was to bring electricity to the rural area at the lowest possible cost. This cannot be done if we are not assured the use of the electric energy produced or that it is possible to produce on the rivers of the Nation.
It is the belief of the farm voters in our area that the only way they can produce food supplies and do the farm work without the labor that has been taken from them for the Army, Navy, and other branches of the service, is to have lowcost electricity. Food production always has and always will be one of the deciding factors in the success of this great Nation. Right along with this goes the preservation of the food kept on the farm for local use. The health of the farm family should surely be considered when the cost of power is being considered.
To meet the end required to do this job set out before us it seems very necessary that the Oahe Dam and other projects along the Missouri be completed at the very earliest possible time. In short, gentlemen, we of the cooperatives in the Missouri Basin, thank you for your consideration of our needs in the completion of these several multipurpose dams. We urge you to give them full consideration for appropriations and speed their completion.
STATEMENT OF GERALD CUSTER, MANAGER, HARRISON COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, my name is Gerald Custer, and I am representing 2,200 farm families in southwest Iowa. We are vitally interested in flood control and the electric-power program for the Missouri River Basin.
In the spring of 1952, the flood between Sioux City and Omaha covered 80 miles of our distribution lines and caused our members a tremendous hardship and loss of property and livestock. The revenue of the cooperative suffered due to loss of lines and additional time required to maintain and repair the lines.
The prosperity of our cooperative and the well-being of our people depend a great deal upon our ability to obtain low-cost river power over the remaining years of our REA loans. Under the contracts we have already signed with the Bureau of Reclamation for power from the dams in South Dakota to be wheeled over the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative transmission lines, we can save approximately one-third of our power costs.
We are especially interested in the future of the Oahe Dam because we will not be able to obtain enough power from Fort Randall and Gavins Point if Oahe Dam is deleted. To our way of reasoning, the Oahe Dam is the backbone of the entire Pick-Sloan plan.
Personally, as a citizen, I have an interest in our municipally owned power plant in Woodbine, Iowa. The possibility of standby power for this plant generated at the river and carried by northwest Iowa transmission lines may eliminate he need for plant expansion and greatly increased expenses in later years.
In behalf of the people I represent, I want to express our appreciation for your time and consideration and respectfully request that the Pick-Sloan appropriation as recommended by the Budget Director be granted.
STATEMENT OF WM. J. CROWLEY, MANAGER, O'BRIEN COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC
COOPERATIVE, PRIMGHAR, IOWA Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, we the members and their families of the O'Brien County Rural Electric Cooperative, about 5,600 farm people of northwest Iowa, are vitally interested in the completion of the Dakota dams on the Missouri River.
When we organized, in 1938, we were unable to secure power at a wholesale rate which would let us exist until two small municipalities, Primghar and Hartley, Iowa, agreed to divide the load between them.
Within 5 years our farm loads had grown to the point where the municipal plants were unable to handle the amount of power required. Other interests then found themselves able to offer us power at similar rates, but with limits as to the amount available. Our loads have continued to grow so fast that we have difficulty in maintaining voltage and continuity of service satisfactory for farm purposes every fall and winter because of the limited amount of power available to us.
Because of the operation of clauses in our wholesale-power contracts dealing with fuel costs to our supplier, we have seen the cost of wholesale electricity rise from 1.1 cents in 1940 to 1.53 cents 1952. In proportion to our total revenue it has risen from 22.2 percent in 1942 to 46.8 percent in 1952, and our margins have been reduced from 26.9 percent to 6.03 percent in the same period.
Completion of the Missouri developments as scheduled will enable us to secure an adequate supply of electric energy at a rate we can afford to pay. We there. fore respectfully request that the Subcommittee on Civil Functions and Military Construction of the House Appropriations Committee appropriate and make available funds to complete on schedule the construction of dams on the Misouri River as contemplated by the Pick-Sloan plan.
STATEMENT OF ('HARLES L. PULLEN, MANAGER, IDA COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC
COOPERATIVES, IDA GROVE, IOWA AND PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGERS SECTION, Iowa RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee. I am pleased to join South Dakota and others in their efforts to get the Pick-Sloan plan for the development of the Missouri River Basin completed.
On behalf of the managers of the Jj rural electric cooperatives in the State of Iowa, I would like to include for the record the following resolution which was adopted at the regular meeting of the managers held in Des Moines last Friday, May 8, 1953.
Whereas on September 21, 1950, the Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative Association adopted the following resolution :
"Whereas the ('orps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation have authori. zations for the construction of dams and generation of electricity by hydropower; and
"Whereas installations at Fort Randall and Garrison are proceeding 'according to plan', but presently is contemplated for use within a radius of 1.50 miles, which would be of only limited benefit to Iowa ('ooperatives: Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved, That the Iowa State Association urge the extension of the service radius to 250 miles from the dams; and be it further
"Resolved, That the Iowa State Association urge the construction of the Gavin's Point Damn in schedule with the Fort Randall and Garrison dams, in order that more Iowa Cooperatives may enjoy hydroelectric power.” and
"Whereas on September 20, 1951, the Iowa Rural Electric ('ooperative Association adopted the following resolution :
"Whereas the continued growth of electric use on Iowa farms demands new and enlarged sources of electric power and the development of power sources by the Federal Government has resulted in lower and lower wholesale power rates; and
Whereas the rural electric cooperatives located in areas served by Federal power projects, such as TVA, Bonneville, Grand Coulee, Missouri Valley, and many others are the beneficiaries of low wholesale power rates and it is the responsibility of each and every rural electric cooperative in Iowa to secure adequate and satisfactory service for its members at the lowest possible cost : Now, therefore, be it
“ "Resolved, That the Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative Association foster and promote the use of public power and public transmission lines wherever and