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of having to get up on the floor of the House and moving to strike out all of the funds they want to use. We are not interfering with their dam; they can have it; they can produce electricity; but I am much in disfavor of the propaganda they carry on. They have these REA organizations in North Dakota convinced it is necessary that they get this 20 feet of water to produce more power, when that is not in their minds at all that they won't get power enough. And I have written to all those fellows demanding of me that I get in behind this move for the extra 20 feet of water and I told them they did not know what they were talking about. What the political effect of it may be I do not care, because I know I am right and, if I am defeated when I am right it will be satisfactory to me. But they have scared those fellows and some have written in to me and some to whom I have written in return have written me and said "I guess you are right after all. They have power enough.” But another witness will tell you about the need of power up there and what power is available, and I won't discuss that question.
I will finish by saying that when a landowner up there goes to bed at night, he owns his land that he has owned for 60 years; but under that procedure, when he wakes up in the morning, he has not any land because the Secretary of the Army has issued an order taking it and all he has left is the right to go into court and sue for damages. Now that is not due process of law and everybody ought to know it. And we have a case pending now in the courts testing whether or not they can take land in that manner. And if they are convinced that this money was made available for the purpose of dikes and irrigation which you have approved, they will go right up there and issue those orders and take that land and the first man the farmer meets in the morning when he gets up is an agent of the engineers saying, “You pay rent this year of $500 if you want to farm this land” and the man says "I own it" and the agent says, "Well, you did own it yesterday, but you do not own it today.”
Senator YOUNG. Are you through, Senator O'Mahoney?
Senator Young. I would like to have placed in the record at this point a telegram that I received in support of the position taken by Senator O'Mahoney and Congressman Burdick. (The telegram referred to follows:)
RAY, N. DAK., February 17, 1954. Senator MILTON R. YOUNG,
Washington, D. C.: We respectfully request your vigorous opposition to the Army engineers plan to build dikes on top of 83 feet of river deposits, nothing but silt around our county seat town of Williston. People of western North Dakota refuse to live behind dikes. Engineers themselves admit dikes will not hold back water so they will give us 200 electric pumps to protect and take care of seepage. What will happen to us in case of power failure? Nothing but disaster. We plead with you to help protect us from the brazen and pernicious attacks of these reckless spenders of the peoples money. Farmers and ranchers cannot relocate themselves and don't know where to go.
Evelyn J. Knudson, President, Board of City Commissioners, Ray,
N. Dak. ; Citizens State Bank of Ray, R. F. Gergen, Cashier ;
ager; Iver Solberg, State Senator. Senator Young. The committee will recess at this time to reconvene at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 12:20 p. m., Tuesday, February 23, 1954, the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a. m. on Wednesday, February 24,
CIVIL FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a. m., in room F-39, the Capitol, Hon. A. Willis Robertson, presiding:
Present: Senators Dworshak, Hayden, and Robertson.
CONNECTICUT PUBLIC-WORKS PROJECTS
STATEMENT OF HON. PRESCOTT BUSH, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
HOUSATONIC RIVER CHANNEL
Senator ROBERTSON. The committee will come to order. We will start the hearings this morning on some projects in Connecticut. I believe our distinguished colleague, Senator Bush, is the first witness.
Senator, we are happy to have you.
Senator Bush. Thank you, Senator. I appreciate very much the courtesy of being allowed to appear before this committee. May I proceed with my story?
Senator ROBERTSON. You may proceed.
Senator Bush. I am gratefui for this opportunity to appear before your committee to request approval of appropriations essential to the accomplishment of three needed public-works projects in the State of Connecticut, and for an additional appropriation which should be made to discharge a moral obligation of the United States.
The first appropriation for which I ask your approval is in the amount of $500,000 and has been recommended by the President in his budget message. It would make possible the dredging and improvement of the Housatonic River Channel. The project, as modified by the River and Harbor Act of July 3, 1930, provides for the construction of a channel 18 feet deep and 200 feet wide from the mouth of the river to the lower end of Culvers Bar. Local interests are required by the act to contribute $150,000 toward the cost of the work, and furnish, free of cost to the United States, suitable bulkhead areas for the deposit of dredged material, or, in lieu thereof, to contribute an additional $50,000 in cash. The Federal Government has been furnished satisfactory assurances that the required local contribution has been guaranteed.
BENEFIT OF PROJECT
The Housatonic River project will result in great benefit to the citizens of Connecticut. It will make possible large savings in the delivered price of coal to the Devon plant of the Connecticut Light & Power Co. The company estimates the savings at $300,000 annually, which would automatically be passed on to consumers because of a fuel adjustment clause in its contracts. A collateral benefit from the project will be the provision of large quantities of sand which may be used to great advantage in repairing storm damage to nearby beaches in the towns of Milford and Stratford.
The Honorable John Lodge, Governor of Connecticut, has asked me to express his regrets to your committee for his inability to be present personally to urge favorable consideration of the appropriation. He has asked me to file the following statement in his behalf.
Senator ROBERTSON. Without objection, the statement will be filed as a part of the record.
Senator Bush. Thank you, sir.
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY JOHN LODGE, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF
CONNECTICUT, REGARDING THE HOUSATONIC RIVER DREDGING PROJECT Gentlemen of the committee, I sincerely regret that the pressure of State business prevents my personal appearance before this honorable committee.
As a Member of the House of Representatives and since, as Governor of Connecticut, I have had opportunity to review various proposed rivers and harbors projects. I know of no other project which carries such a high return on money invested or one with such a high ratio of benefits to cost or which directly bene fits so many people as does the Housatonic River dredging project.
A project such as this one that favors the industrial economy of Connecticut is beneficial to the Nation as a whole.
The 70th Congress approved a channel 18 feet deep and 200 feet wide from the mouth of the Housatonic River to the lower end of Culvers Bar. The need for the completion of this project is even more urgent today because of the place of the Housatonic River in the defense production of the Nation as reflected by the operation of the Devon plant of the Connecticut Light & Power Co. and its entire system.
The Connecticut Light & Power Co. supplies electric service to 108 Connecticut towns with a population totaling approximately 800,000 and with approximately 260,487 electric consumers, domestic, commercial, and industrial. Nearly 40 percent of the approximately 2 billion kilowatt-hours supplied in the year 1952 was used by industrial consumers and approximately 57 percent of the output of these industrial concerns was devoted to defense activities.
I am informed that 99 percent of the kilowatt-hours so produced are sold under rates having fuel-cost adjustments which provide that any increase or decrease in the cost of fuel be reflected in customers' billing.
During the year 1952, over 583,000 tons of coal were burned at the Devon plant and it is expected that within 10 years this figure will increase to approximately 1 million tons annually. I am informed that an improved channel permitting the use of larger barges for the transportation of fuel, will result in an estimated sav. ing of approximately 50 cents per ton of coal. These savings, under Connecticut Public Utility Commission regulations, are passed directly on to the consumers. On this basis, the consumers—the people of Connecticut-would have saved about $290,000 in 1952 on their electric bills and in 10 years their savings may approach $500,000 a year. Other benefits and savings would accrue from the use of an improved channel by private interests.
As an indication of the interest in this project, the Connecticut Light & Power Co. is willing to contribute $150,000 toward the cost of the work as required by the
act. If satisfactory arrangements cannot be made with local interests to supply suitable bulkhead areas for dredged material, the Connecticut Light & Power Co. will agree to contribute also the additional $50,000 called for in the act for this purpose.
Since 1950 another very important consideration has arisen which has further increased the ratio of benefits to cost in this project. This concerns the Connecticut beaches which are so valuable an asset of our State.
In 1950 and again in the fall of 1953 severe storms have wrought great damage to our shoreline and to our valuable beaches. Repairing the damage and restoring some of these beaches to their valuable use for the people of Connecticut is greatly needed.
The material to be dredged from the lower end of the Housatonic River consists very largely of sand and is most suitable for use in restoring nearby beaches. As a matter of fact the only method of restoring these beaches is by pumping sand from offshore areas onto the beaches themselves. Short Beach in Stratford and the western end of the Milford beaches are both within the pumping distance of sand from this dredging project. It is estimated that the entire section of Short Beach and about 4,000 feet of the Milford beaches could be thus restored. The damage all of the Milford beaches is so extensive that it may be economically infeasible to restore them as a beach erosion project. However, if 4,000 feet of these beaches could be restored in the Housatonic River dredging project, it might then make it possible to restore the rest through some other measures.
Some of the objection to the Housatonic River dredging project has come from the wildlife and sportsmen organizations because they were fearful that the material dredged from the river would be spread over the neighboring lowlands and thus destroy the habitat and feeding grounds for wildlife. However, the placing of this sand on these two major beach areas would therefore provide a most valuable method of disposal for a large portion of the dredged material and it would thus facilitate the finding of other disposal areas without detrimentally affecting the wildlife interests because the amount of material to be disposed of in such areas would be considerably less than it would be without the beach disposal areas.
I, therefore urge this committee, because of the importance of this project to the industrial welfare of Connecticut, and in view of the substantial contribution which it would make in the control of shore erosion, to give favorable consideration to the appropriation requested.
Senator Bush. Present this morning to appear as witnesses are Judge Richard L. Weldon, appearing on behalf of the town council of Stratford, Conn., and Mr. R. P. Stacy, vice president of the Connecticut Light & Power Co.
We are very proud to have them here representing our State in this important matter.
I know that your committee will give careful consideration to the more detailed statements they will present, and I sincerely hope that you will approve the appropriation which will make possible such substantial benefits to a large segment of the population of Connecticut at such a modest cost.
Senator ROBERTSON. Senator, the engineers recommended, I believe, $500,000.
Senator Bush. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBERTSON. The budget estimate carries an estimate of $500,000, and that is the amount that you are asking that we approve?
Senator Bush. That is correct.
Just one more word and then I am finished with this particular matter.
The appropriation for the Housatonic River project also is supported by the town council of Milford, Conn. The Honorable Albert P.