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Senator DWORSHAK. Going back to the Colfax project, I understand that the total authorization on the 1940 base was $290,100; whereas, you now estimate the cost to be $2,361,000. Can you explain that difference?
Colonel STARBIRD. Yes, sir. A portion of it, of course, is price-level increase. However, we have had two floods here since the time the authorization was given. Those floods have revealed that the original capacities planned for the channel are far less than are required. Also, the velocities are such that more paving is now required in the channels than was originally contemplated. The current estimate of the cost of the necessary work is the figure given of $2,361,000.
Senator DWORSHAK. That is a pretty sizable increase. What was the cost ratio on that? Colonel STARBIRD. 1.32 to 1, sir.
GREYBULL, Wyo. Colonel STARBIRD. The next to the last of the flood-control project is a local protection project, basically a levee project for Greybull, Wyo. The project has had no funds appropriated to date. Forty thousand dollars is recommended for fiscal year 1955, which will bring the project to a construction status. The project has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 2.18 to 1. The estimated cost to local interests of furnishing their cooperation is $64,900, exclusive of maintenance and operation.
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Colonel STARBIRD. The last of the flood-control projects is that of Jackson Hole, Wyo. It is a project for improvement of and addition to low levees plus bank stabilization. The project has had no funds appropriated to date, and $50,000 are recommended for appropriation in fiscal year 1955. This will bring a portion of the project to construction status.
The project has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 1.8 to 1. The estimated cost to local interests of furnishing their cooperation is about $14,000 initial cost, but they will have annual maintenance charges in the neighborhood of $14,000 per year thereafter.
Senator DWORSHAK. There is no reservoir involved here?
Senator ELLEN DER. A moment ago I asked you to give us a list of all of the authorized projects from which you selected these 30 that we are talking about. As I remember, you stated that the yardstick that governed in your selection was the cost against benefits and the fact that the projects were small in cost. In giving us that list, will you give us a cost benefit of the others as well as the approximate cost? Is that possible?
Colonel STARBIRD. We do not have an up-to-date benefit-to-cost ratio on all of the authorized projects.
Senator ELLENDER. How did you make a selection? I thought you said that is what caused you to select these 30, that you went over the projects and you made your selection and used those 2 items I have just indicated as your yardstick. Evidently you did not go over all the projects authorized and make a selection.
veneral CHORPENING. You asked us for the number that we have classified as active, deferred for restudy, and inactive.
We selected the 30 projects under consideration from a list comprising projects which we placed in an active category whose B/C ratio was either reasonably recent or about which we had sufficient knowledge. Then we narrowed this list down to something in the neighborhood of 50 or 60 projects that we again had to consider in arriving at the 30 we actually have.
Senator ELLENDER. There were many more you could have selected from?
Colonel STARBIRD. Yes, sir. There were many more in the active list that could finally be selected.
Senator ELLLENDER. To what extent were you governed by the requests from outside sources as to your selection?
Colonel STARBIRD. To a slight extent. Of course, we know that in some places local people are very much interested in having a floodcontrol project. There have been indications in the field that the local interests want to go ahead with a particular project and do their part if we proceed with the planning and construction. In other instances, there has been no local interest indicated. Local interest is taken into consideration on those projects that require local cooperation.
Senator DworSHAK. These 30 here are receiving somewhat preferred treatment, are they not, in that if the appropriations are made now for planning, they will be in line for construction ahead of those others for which you have not requested planning money?
General CHORPENING. That is correct. Twenty out of these thirty projects for which we are requesting planning funds would be ready to go into construction.
Senator DWORSHAK. Therefore, they are being placed in line for the next construction budget following this planning money?
General CHORPENING. That is correct, sir.
Senator DWORSHAK. Then the others that are not included would take another 2 or 3 years in order to get the projects ready for construction. There is no immediate prospect of them being constructed?
General CHORPENING. That is correct, depending on the size of the project. Some of these projects are small and the planning funds we requested for this one year would be sufficient to prepare them for initiation of construction.
Senator McCLELLAN. Some of them are a little large, too. They are not all small. I have some smaller projects that I cannot get done.
What is the status of the De Gray Dam on the Ouachita River?
General CHORPENING. In our review of all authorized projects which we previously discussed, that was placed in the deferred-for-furtherstudy category.
Senator MCCLELLAN. I think it would be well for us to know about how quick we are going to get that review in the category No. 2 which are the projects deferred for restudy.
General CHORPENING. We have completed our review and have submitted it to the Bureau of the Budget. That was in August of 1953.
Senator McCLELLAN. I know you submitted that, but those that you put in a category for restudy, you have not restudied all of them, have
General CHORPENING. In order to carry out the restudy it would be necessary to have an appropriation of funds.
Senator McCLELLAN. You made your three categories. Are those that were placed in the second category the ones that are deferred for restudy? You will have no funds to do that restudy work. Have you requested funds in here for that purpose?
General CHORPENING. We requested of the budget $112 over ceiling to proceed with the restudy of those projects.
Senator DWORSHAK. Is there any money in here now for that restudy?
General CHORPENING. Nothing was included in the Presidents' budget for the restudy of this category of projects.
Senator DWORSHAK. Nothing in the budget at all for the restudy of those projects!
General CHORPENING. No, sir. The reason we included it in the overceiling request was because at the present time this study is only a recommendation of the Corps of Engineers as requested by the Bureau of the Budget. It has not been acted on either by the Bureau of the Budget or by the Congress.
Senator McCLELLAN. In other words, it just simply adds up to this: As far as the corps is concerned, they do not intend to do anything about those projects in category No. 2 until the Congress gives them money to restudy that. They are presently inactive and not considered in any construction program at all.
General CHORPENING. That is correct, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. A while ago I thought you stated that some money was being provided for the Columbia River local protection wherein you had 30-and-some-odd authorized projects and you had an item of $35,000 to make a further study as to the feasibility of these projects.
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct.
Senator ELLENDER. Is that the only money you have for that purpose for any project ?
Colonel STARBIRD. That authorization carried a special wording for this particular group of projects. It is the only money in the budget in fiscal year 1955 for that purpose.
Senator ELLENDER. That is because you had a special request, or because the law was so worded you asked for that?
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct. The law was so worded.
General CHORPENING. The authorization of the project was so worded as to specify that these 35 projects shall be economically justified prior to construction.
Senator ELLENDER. Since you have been limited on this whole authorization to $15 million, the number of projects you are going to build will be much less than 35 ?
General CHORPENING. That is correct, unless the limitation is increased.
Senator McCLELLAN. If we just want to think of the economics of the situation, I guess we can further economize by just eliminating all these 30 projects and stopping this construction program?
Senator DWORSHAK. Did you mean to eliminate all of the them?
QUESTION OF STOPPING PROGRAM
Senator McCLELLAN. Just these he is asking planning money for. You cannot construct them until you get them planned. shut down the whole river program, we can just stop this planning money and there will be no projects ready for construction in the next year or two. We can further economize. So many call them "pork barrel” and “political expenditures,” so I think it is a good time to shut it all off.
Senator DWORSHAK. Do you want to comment on that, General?
General CHORPENING. I do not know whether that is something on which I should properly comment or not. It is certainly true that if we do not plan any projects, then the construction program is going to come to a halt".
Senator DWORSHAK. It is all planning money; is it not?
Senator McCLELLAN. I am talking about this planning money. If you want to stop this program, just stop the planning.
Senator DWORSHAK. What you were referring to was putting a ban or withholding approval of all of the planning funds not only for flood-control projects which we have considered this morning but also navigation projects and multipurpose projects!
Senator McCLELLAN. I am talking about all of them. I was not thinking about this one alone. The point I am making and I am emphasizing it-we are getting into some kind of a situation that I do not quite understand the authority for it. Congress comes along and authorizes a project and then authorizes another and another, based on testimony the Corps of Engineers have given us and others from time to time. Now we are getting up some system, some scheme, some way where somebody is deauthorizing them without the consent of Congress. We are not getting any request in here for appropriations for them and for planning money. I think the Congress, in effect, is being bypassed in some way. That is what I do not like, when we do not have an equal chance for equal projects to come here before us for consideration.
Senator DWORSHAK. I would suggest to the Senator that if he has any particular project in mind, he submit it to this committee.
Senator McCLELLAN. I am going to do that.
Senator ELLENDER. That is why I asked for a list to be put in the record.
Senator DWORSHAK. I am sure this committee has the authority to consider anything, even though it has not been suggested or recommended by the Army engineers.
Senator McCLELLAN. I do not think it is the fault of the Army engineers that this situation is developing. This is not directly the fault of the engineers, but there is a policy being formulated that is simply bypassing the authority and the responsibility of Congress if we let them get by with it.
Senator ELLENDER. Who gave the directive that caused you to classify the projects along the lines you have been talking about, General ?
PROJECT BACKLOG General CHORPENING. It all started with the hearings before the Jones subcommittee of the House Public Works Committee 2 years ago, which were quite extensive. At that time there was considerable
discussion of the large backlog of authorized projects that do exist in our books, not only flood control but navigation projects.
We were directed at that time, or rather asked by the chairman of the Public Works Committee, to determine some method by which something might be done about this large backlog of projects, some of which are certainly inactive and probably would never be constructed.
We were also called upon by the Bureau of the Budget to submit a recommended procedure for dealing with this backlog. In accordance with the desires of the Public Works Committee of the House and of the Bureau of the Budget, we spent much time countrywide considering all projects and possible methods of handling this backlog of projects.
We completed our studies and submitted our recommendations, as I have earlier stated in August 1953, to the Bureau of the Budget. We established a proposed procedure and listed all projects that are now authorized. Copies of that report went to the Public Works Committee of the Senate, to the Public Works Committee of the House, and I believe that we have now furnished copies and a listing of all authorized projects by categories to this subcommittee and to the House Appropriations Subcommittee.
Senator ELLENDER. You mean from which a selection was to be made?
General CHORPENING. No, sir. We indicated our recommendation for each project that is authorized as to whether at this time we would consider it an active project, one that should be considered for restudy, or inactive. The inactive list would comprise projects that we feel could be considered, if the Congress wishes to do so, for deauthorization. Those projects placed in the middle category of deferred for further study are projects we do not feel we know enough about to enable us to ask for design funds without first making a restudy of their economics. They should be studied and an analysis made of the project costs and economics in order to determine whether we would place them in the active list, where they could then be considered for regular planning funds.
For years it has been stated by many critics of this program that we do have a backlog of projects that are never going to be built. There has been a desire indicated to do something about revitalizing the program by removing in some fashion those projects that never will be built. We have authorizations going back many, many years. There has been a desire indicated for establishing a procedure where the Corps of Engineers could request planning funds on currently active projects having an up-to-date economic analysis rather than requesting planning funds on projects we may get into and find we should not construct. That was the way we approached this problem, gentlemen.
We were directed to do it. It was something that was required, and we complied with our instructions. It is beyond our hands now. We acted promptly on the directives. I am hopeful some recommendations will be made shortly.
BUDGET BUREAU DIRECTIVE
Senator ELLENDER. Was the directive you obtained or received from the Bureau of the Budget in writing?