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CIVIL FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10:15 a. m., pursuant to recess, in room F-39, the Capitol, Senator Guy Cordon, presiding.
Present: Senators Knowland (chairman of the subcommittee), Cordon, Dworshak, Hayden, Ellender, McClellan, and Robertson,
STATEMENTS OF BRIG. GEN. C. H. CHORPENING, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF ENGINEERS FOR CIVIL WORKS; COL. WILLIAM WHIPPLE, EXECUTIVE FOR CIVIL WORKS; AND H. COHEN, ASSISTANT CHIEF, PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT BRANCH
THE DALLES, OREG., DAM Senator CORDON (temporarily presiding). The committee will come to order.
I would like to revert for a moment to the Dalles Dam project. I have not the matter of appropriation moneys but have language that I think ought to be in the bill.
Colonel, I note in the suggested language for the appropriation bill covering the civil functions it is proposed to delete the language which was inserted in the bill last year and which reads as follows:
Provided further, That funds appropriated herein may at the discretion and under the direction of the Chief of Engineers be used in payment to the accounts of the Confederated Tribes of the Yakima Reservation ; the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatila Reservation; or other recognized Indian tribes, and those individual Indians not enrolled in any recognized tribe, but who through domicile at or in the immediate vicinity of the reservoir and through custom and usage are found to have an equitable interest in the fishery, all of whose fishing rights and interests will be impaired by the Government incident to the construction, operation, or maintenance of the Dalles Dam, Columbia River, Wash. and Oreg., and must be subordinated thereto by agreement or litigation.
That language was inserted last year so that there would be legal authority for the Government to settle the fishing claims of the various Indian groups on the river, having in mind that, as there is always the case with ancient rights it is a difficult thing sometimes to establish them, and it sometimes takes a very considerable period of time to reach the conclusion. I understand that the conclusions have not all been reached yet, for the beneficiaries and identified with certainty.
Under the circumstances, it would seem to me that the language ought to be kept in the bill this year so as to, one, permit of finishing the job of identifying Indians and determining damages, and, two, making available current funds in case the construction contracts and so forth have used up the funds that were appropriated last year.
Have you any views with respect to that?
AGREEMENT WITH INDIANS Colonel WHIPPLE. It seems that that would be appropriate sir. The agreements have been consummated with 2 of the 5 groups of Indians referred to in that language. In order to make sure that we do have the authority to do what we understand is the will of Congress to carry out, it would appear to be desirable to have that legislation.
Senator Cordon. All right. That takes care of that item. I am quite sure it would be necessary. Frankly, I don't see how you can complete the job otherwise.
Senator ELLENDER. I presume the amounts have been agreed to that each tribe would be entitled to?
Colonel WHIPPLE. Two of the tribes have agreed to the amounts. The other tribes have not yet completed the negotiations.
Senator ELLENDER. Well, were the amounts agreed upon within the range specified by you or provided for in the bill?
Colonel WHIPPLE. For those two tribes that is correct, sir.
Senator CORDON. All right. Cheatham lock and dam in Tennessee. I suggest, Senator Ellender, that somewhere along the road that ought to be named McKellar lock and dam. I am serious. I think it should. Let's keep it in mind.
Senator ELLENDER. All right.
Colonel WHIPPLE. The Cheatham project is a power and navigation project, part of the comprehensive plan for improvement of the Cumberland River.
Senator CORDON. Senator, we are just taking up a project in which I am sure you have no immediate interest, Cheatham lock and dam in Tennessee.
Senator GORE. Well, upon what do you base that presumption?
Senator CORDON. Well, as a matter of fact I don't base it because I do not entertain it.
Senator KNOWLAND. You may proceed.
LOCATION OF PROJECT
Colonel WHIPPLE. The Cheatham lock and dam on the Cumberland River is part of the comprehensive plan for the development of that river in the interest of flood control, navigation, and power. The project is 42 miles below Nashville and will extend a navigable pool 23 miles above that point. It replaces three obsolete locks and dams on the river that are incapable of handling modern tows, and although considerable traffic does pass through them there is a great deal of lost time. There will be an installed capacity of 36,000 kilowatts at the project, and the benefits will be about one-half navigation and one-half power for this project.
It operates in conjunction with storage projects further up the tributaries of the Cumberland River which firm up its power.
Senator ELLENDER. To what extent?
Senator ELLENDER. I understand. But you say it will firm the power in dams below to what extent? Do you know?
Colonel WHIPPLE. It is entirely a matter, sir, of firming up the power during the time of flood, which is the only period in which this project will have its power reduced. By a system operation between the storage reservoirs and the run of the river plants, we can get firm power in the amount of 36,000 kilowatts from this project.
Senator ELLENDER. In evaluating the cost benefits, you have taken that into consideration, of course!
Colonel WHIPPLE. Yes, sir; we have. The project is going very well. The lock is already in operation, although the sill has not been entirely placed. The coffer dam is in place for the construction of the powerhouse. The estimated Federal cost of the project is $32,200,000, and there has been no change since last year.
The appropriation requested is $4,180,000. That corresponds to a within-ceiling request of the Bureau of the Budget of $7,500,000 and an overceiling request of $2,500,000.
Senator CORDON. The within ceiling was how much?
Colonel WHIPPLE. The Bureau of the Budget made that determination, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. Although you suggested a within ceiling of $7.5 million ?
Colonel WHIPPLE. That is correct, sir. That was made, however, after a discussion in which we indicated that as far as getting power for the Cumberland region was concerned, more power will be obtained at an earlier date by giving priority to the Old Hickory project further upstream as compared to this particular project.
BUDGET REQUESTS FOR CHEATHAM AND OLD HICKORY PROJECTS
General CHORPENING. Here is what was done: If you will note, on the next project which will be discussed, Old Hickory, we asked for $10 million within ceiling and $4,350,000 over ceiling. The entire amount, within and over ceiling, on Old Hickory, was granted. The amount asked for, $10 million within ceiling and over ceiling for Cheatham, was reduced to $4,180,000. They gave the full amount to Old Hickory where we could get power quicker, and a reduced amount to Cheatham.
Senator ELLENDER. What is the difference in the amount there? You say that in Old Hickory the overceiling was what?
General CHORPENING. Old Hickory, the overceiling was $4,350,000. Within ceiling was $10 million, and the full amount was allowed, $14,350,000.
Senator ELLENDER. What effect is that going to have on the completion of this Cheatham lock and dam!
Colonel WHIPPLE. It delays first power on the line by 7 months from the schedule contemplated with the within-plus overceiling amount.
Senator ELLENDER. Seven months?
BENEFITS FROM EXPENDITURE AT OLD HICKORY
Senator ELLENDER. And you think more benefits will accrue to that system by spending more money at Oll Hickory?
Colonel WHIPPLE. Yes, sir; because Old Plickory has a capacity of 100,000 kilowats as compared to 36,000 at Cheatham. So it produces almost three times as much power. The navigation will get by the project in any event.
Senator ELLENDER. Do you mean with the expenditure of this amount?
Colonel WHIPPLE. Yes, sir. So there is a greater advantage as far as power is concerned by giving priority to the larger project which will put more power on the line at an earlier date.
Senator ELLENDER. What part did you pay in making that determination, of using more at Old Hickory than the other?
Colonel WHIPPLE. The part that we played, sir, was in recommending a priority if the Bureau of the Budget could not grant the full overceiling amount for both projects. It was recommended that we accept a delay on the Cheatham project and adjust the funds accordingly in order to allow Old Hickory, at least, to continue on schedule.
General CHORPENING. It is significant to note that the total amount asked for within ceiling on both of these projects was $17,500,000. The amount allowed in the budget for both projects was $18,530,000. In other words, it is slightly more than the total amount we asked for within ceiling for both projects.
Senator CORDON. Would you give me again the overceiling request on Cheatham?
General CHORPENING. The overceiling request on Cheatham was $2,500,000.
Senator CORDON. Mr. Chairman, this is an interesting situation here that I recall has come up a number of times. I know in the Pacific Northwest it has always been my feeling that where the greatest immediate benefit could come, we ought to put the major amount of funds until we can get something in operation and bringing in money, furnishing power, or whatever the benefit is, and at least be getting something at an earlier date rather than have a great number of projects all going forward with less money and all as a result delayed until much later in the future before any of them actually begin to pay. To the extent that this complies with that idea, it seems to me à sound approach.
Senator ELLEN DER. If the Senator will recall, the committee acted in that manner in the past. Instead of leaving it to the Budget Bureau, we consulted with the engineers and made recommendations along that line.
Senator CORDON. Exactly. And I am quite certain, Senator, that the overall advantage and the public interest is almost incalculable as a result of what we have done in that field.
Senator KNOWLAND. I think our position right along has been that, while, of course, great weight should properly be given to the recommendations of the Budget Bureau, the Congress was not bound by them. It could examine such other facts and evidence as was presented. But I think generally speaking the point raised by the Senator from Oregon, Senator Cordon, is correct.
Senator ELLENDER. The chairman will remember in most cases we were within what the Budget Bureau recommended.
Senator KNOWLAND. That is right, but did some shifting.
Senator ELLENDER. That is correct, in order to carry out what the general is now stating.
Senator KNOWLAND. And we will continue to exercise our judgment in that regard.
Senator ELLENDER. Yes. I think it is wise.
Colonel WHIPPLE. The unexpended balances on the Cheatham project as of last June 30, were $1,628,000, as of December 31 they were $2,356,000, and by June 30 of this year they will be approximately zero.
Senator CORDON. How much?
Since we had to borrow $600,000 from other projects in fiscal year 1953 to maintain this project on schedule, it is evident the work is going very well. There is no doubt that we will spend most of the money.
Senator KNOWLAND. You may have given the figure before I was able to get here, as I was tied up with another meeting, but what did you say the benefit-cost ratio was?
General CHORPENING. 1.67 to 1, sir. ,