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“The lands, easements, and rights of way hereby leased shall be exempt from all taxation, but the said commission shall make payments on or before the first day of October of each year to each town in which such lands, easements, and rights of way, respectively, are located, of a sum equal to the taxes which would have been assessed against the said lands, easements, and rights of way in such town if the same had been included in the list of taxable property for such year, at the assessed valuation of the same as determined for the tax year 1936. Provided, however, that no payment shall be made or required hereunder on account of reimbursement for loss of taxes on any structure which may be erected on such premises in connection with the construction or use of said project, or on account of any railroad or other public utility which may be relocated under the terms of this compact, and which thereafter is included in the list of taxable property in said town when relocated.
“When said lands, easements, and rights of way essential to the construction of any dam or reservoir shall have been acquired as hereinbefore provided, the state wherein the same are located shall make, execute, and deliver to said Commission a good and sufficient lease of the same, to include the structures thereon when completed and accepted by the state, except as hereinafter provided, upon the terms and conditions following, to wit:
"(a) The said Commission shall save the state in which said reservoirs are respectively located, free and harmless from all loss, cost, damage, or expense in connection with the control, operation, and maintenance of said reservoir or reservoirs except as hereinafter provided in Articles X and XII.
“(6) In the construction and maintenance of such reservoir, or reservoirs, the area which may be flowed thereby, when full, shall be cleared of buildings and of such trees, brush, and underbrush as from time to time may be damaged or killed by such flowage; borrow pits or banks, other excavations or unused accumulations of material and débris, shall be leveled, graded, masked, removed, or otherwise disposed of in such a way as to leave no holes or other unsightly conditions therein; all water pockets shall be properly drained; and the premises affected by such flowage shall be landscaped in such manner as may reasonably preserve the natural condition of such premises before such construction, except as the same necessarily may be changed thereby.
"(c) The lands; easements, and rights of way hereby leased shall be exempt from all taxation; but the said Commission shall make payments on or before the first day of October of each year to each town in which such lands, easements and rights of way, respectively, are located, of a sum equal to the taxes which would have been assessed against the said lands, ea sements, and rights of way in such town if the same had been included in the list of taxable property for such year, at the assessed valuation of the same as determined for the tax year 1936. Provided, however, that no payment shall be made or required hereunder on account of reimbursement for loss of taxes on any structure which may be erected on such premises in connection with the construction or use of said project; or on account of any railroad or other public utility which may be relocated under the terms of this compact and which thereafter is included in tbe list of taxable property in said town when relocated.
"(d) The lands, easements, and rights of way herein described are leased and demised solely for the purpose of flood control, and for no other purpose, and the said lessor hereby excepts from this lease and reserves unto itself all benefit or advantage of water conservation, power storage, or power development that may be inherent in such reservoir site, with the right, at such time as it may determine and upon compliance with the requirements of the United States respecting the adjustment and payment of any added construction cost by reason of the type of construction adapted for that purpose, and the assumption and payment of the cost of acquiring any additional lands, easements, and rights of way necessitated by such additional development, and the full preservation of the principal purpose of flood control, to develop the same in such manner and for such purpose as may be essential to the full beneficial use thereof,
“(e) The term of said lease shall be for the period of nine hundred and ninety-nine years, subject only to be defeated by a breach of the terms or the conditions in this article set forth.
“The cost of acquisition of lands, easements and rights of way, as used or referred to herein, shall be deemed to include the cost of:
“(1) The purchasing or condemning of lands, easements and rights of way of every kind and nature required or essential in the construction, development, operation and maintenance of such reservoirs as an effective agency for flood control, and including, among other things, camp sites, borrow banks or pits, rock ledges, gravel deposits and rights of way thereto in the vicinity of the dam necessary for the construction and maintenance thereof.
"(2) The reconstruction, relocation or elevation of public highways, including bridges or other structures ;
“(3) The reconstruction or relocation of public service utilities, including railroads and the alteration of bridges and structures thereon, whether publicly or privately owned ;
“(4) The reconstruction or relocation of telegraph, telephone or electric distribution and transmission lines, pipe lines, aqueducts, water or gas mains;
“(5) And any and all other damages, expenses or costs that may be necessitated or incurred in procuring and providing the sites necessary for the construction of the reservoirs herein contemplated, including the cost and expense of acquiring such lands, easements, and rights of way and procuring the reconstruction or relocation of the highways, bridges, railroads, telephone, telegraph, and electric lines, pipes, aqueducts, and mains above mentioned, or the rights of way for the same, or any other similar expenditures.
"The rights to be acquired and exercised by the Commission are solely for flood control purposes, and each of the respective signatory states, wherein any reservoir may be situated, reserves respectively unto itself all benefits or advantage of water conservation, power storage or power development that may be inherent in such reservoir site,
"In the event either signatory state may wish to preserve to itself the value of such site for the purposes aforesaid, it may, through an appropriate agency of the state, so notify the United States, through the War Department, before any construction work is commenced hereunder for flood control purposes, so that the design and construction of the dam at such site may be developed in such manner as to provide for further development as a storage reservoir for the conservation of water, enhancement of stream flow or power development.
“Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prevent either state, at its option, at any time hereafter, by itself or through such agency as it may designate, from developing any such reservoir or reservoirs for use for water conservation, power storage or power development, in order that it may await itself of the full beneficial use and enjoyment of the rights herein reserved. In such event, such state shall pay or provide for the payment of all costs or expenses necessary for such further development, including adaptation of any existing dam and works to such purpose, in accordance with plans. approved by the Secretary of War, and at all times fully preserve the primary purpose of flood control.
"The terms and conditions under which any such signatory state shall make available the rights of water conservation, power storage or power development herein reserved shall be determined by separate agreement or arrangement between such state and the United States; and the type and general plans for the construction of such of the reservoirs as are herein contemplated to provide for such further development shall be approved by some agency of such state, for that purpose duly authorized, before any construction thereon is begun or prosecuted.
"ARTICLE X "In order that an adequate fund may be established and created from which payments for the acquisition of lands, easements and rights of way may be made, the signatory states become bound and each hereby obligates itself to pay to the Commission the proportion of the cost of acquisition of lands, easements and rights of way respectively set forth below, and subject to the limitations hereinafter provided as follows:
“(1) The Commonwealth of Massachusetts fifty per cent thereof. “(2) The State of New Hampshire fifty per cent thereof..
"Provided, however, That it is the understanding, intent and purpose of the parties hereto that the cost of acquisition of lands, easements and rights of way for two reservoirs, provided for herein, shall not exceed the sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($2,285,000), and that the drainage area of the Merrimack River Basin to be controlled thereby shall be approximately twenty-two and one-half (22.5) per cent thereof; and it is expressly provided that the maximum amount for the cost of acquisition of lands, easements, and rights of way to which each of the signatory states shall be bound or obligated on account of said two reservoirs shall not exceed the respective properties hereinbefore set forth of said sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($2,285,000).
“The fiscal year shall be deemed to begin on July 1st and end on June 30th. Payment by the signatory states of the cost of acquisition shall be made as and when requested by the Commission on or after July 1, 1937; provided that not more than one-half of said sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($2,285,000) shall be required to be paid in any fiscal year after said date.
“In the execution of the initial plan of two reservoirs herein contemplated said Commission, with the approval of the Secretary of War, shall determine the order in which the construction work of the same shall be commenced and prosecuted.
"The initial plan for the construction of two reservoirs herein mentioned and provided for is part of a long range comprehensive program for flood control on the Merrimack River and its tributaries, the object and purpose of the signatory states being to enlarge and expand such flood control projects to an ultimate control.
"In the further development of such comprehensive program, said Commission shall determine from time to time the site, character, location, and extent of such additional reservoirs, subject to the approval of the legislature of the state in which the same may be located.
“Each of the signatory states shall annually contribute and pay to the Commission the respective proportions of the expense of operation and maintenance of the flood control reservoirs hereafter constructed under the terms of this agreement as follows: "The Commonwealth of Massachusetts fifty per cent thereof,
"The State of New Hampshire fifty per cent thereof, and each state shall make adequate provision for compliance on its part with the provisions of this Article, and funds shall be made available as and when required upon the requisition of the Commission.
“As a part of the expense of operation and maintenance of said reservoirs the Commission shall assume and pay to the respective towns entitled thereto the cost of reimbursement for loss of taxes, as set forth and required in the third paragraph of Article VI hereof, and shall pay all costs incident to or damages resulting from the operation and maintenance of such flood control reservoirs, and shall save the United States free and harmless on account thereof, and shall pay all other costs or expenses which may be necessary in the operation and maintenance thereof, including the expenses of the members of said Commission hereinbefore provided to be paid out of the funds of said Commission.
"ARTICLE XIII "Each of the signatory states hereby releases and discharges the other and the Commission of and from all damages, which may be claimed to result from the obstruction, detention, impounding, storage, release or diversion of the waters of said Merrimack River and its tributaries, in so far as the same may be in any way affected by the construction, operation or maintenance of the reservoirs herein contemplated.
"This compact shall become operative and effective when approved by the legislatures of each of the signatory states and by the Congress of the United States. Notice of approval shall be given by the Governor of each state to the Governor of the other state and to the President of the United States and the President of the United States is requested to give notice to the governor of each of the signatory states of its approval by the Congress of the United States."
The CHAIRMAN. This meeting is also for the consideration of House Joint Resolution 430, introduced by Mrs. Rogers of Massachusetts, and the resolution will be inserted at this point in the hearing.
(The resolution referred to is as follows:)
(H. J. Res. 430, 75th Cong., 1st sess. ]
JOINT RESOLUTION Consenting to an interstate compact relating to flood control in
the Merrimack River Valley
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the consent of Congress is hereby given to an interstate compact relating to flood control in the Merrimack River Valley, negotiated and entered into under authority of section 4 of the Flood Control Act of 1936 (U. S. C., 1934 edition, Supp. II, title 33, sec. 701d) and ratified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, which compact reads as follows:
“The principal purposes of this compact are:
“(0) To provide adequate storage capacity for impounding the waters of the Merrimack River and its tributaries, designed primarily for the protection of life and property from floods;
"(c) To provide a joint or common agency through which the signatory states, while promoting, protecting, and preserving to each the local interest and sovereignty of the respective signatory states, may more effectively cooperate in accomplishing the object of flood control in the basin of the Merrimack River and its tributaries, and, among other things:
“(1) To acquire by lease from the states signatory hereto, or either of them, all lands, easements and rights of way necessary for the construction of the projects herein contemplated, without cost to the United States, except as provided in said Act of Congress hereinbefore referred to;
“(2) To hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works;
“(3) To maintain and operate all the works contemplated after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of War:
“(4) To accept from the signatory states hereto, and from any other source, contributions of moneys as hereinafter set forth for the purposes herein set forth, including without limiting the same, funds for the acquisition of lands, easements, and rights of way, for the payment of damages and for the operation and maintenance of said flood control reservoirs, and for the expenses incidental thereto and to the functions of the Merrimack River Valley Flood Control Commission hereinafter created.
“There is hereby created “The Merrimack River Valley Flood Control Commission", hereinafter referred to as the Commission, which shall consist of six commissioners, three of whom shall be residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and three of whom shall be residents of the State of New Hampshire.
"Each state shall choose its members of said Commission in such manner and for such terms as may from time to time be provided by ihe law thereof. A commissioner may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state which he represents; and any vacancy occurring in said Commission shall be filled in accordance with the law of the state in whose representation such vacancy exists.
"A majority of the members from each state shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, the exercise of any powers, or the performance of any duties, but no action of the Commission shall be binding unless at least two of the members from each state shall vote in favor thereof.
“The compensation of the members of said Commission shall be fixed and paid by the state which they respectively represent. All necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties shall be paid from the funds of said Commission.
"The Commission shall elect from its members a chairman, vice-chairman, clerk, and treasurer. Such treasurer shall furnish to said Commission, at its expense, a bond with corporate surety, to be approved by said Commission, in such amount as said Commission may determine, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties.
“The Commission shall adopt suitable by-laws, and shall make such rules and regulations as it may deem advisable governing the operation of flood control projects, not inconsistent with the laws of the signatory states or laws of the United States, and any rules or regulations lawfully promulgaed thereunder.
“The Commission shall make an annual report to the Governor of each of the signatory states, setting forth in detail the operations and transactions conducted by it pursuant to this compact and any legislation thereunder.
“The Commission shall keep a record of all its meetings and proceedings, contracts, and accounts, and shall maintain a suitable office, where its maps, plans, documents, records, and accounts shall be kept, subject to public inspection at such times and under such regulations as the Commission shall determine.
“The Commission shall constitute a body, both corporate and politic, with full power and authority
"(1) To acquire by lease and to hold lands, ea sements, and rights of way for reservoirs herein contemplated, including such reservoirs, when and as completed, and any and all lands, easements, and rights of way which may be necessary for the use and enjoyment of said reservoirs ;
“(2) To hold, maintain, and operate reservoirs, including appurtenances, for the purposes of flood control;
“ (3) To receive funds and moneys from the signatory states or other sources, for the purpose of acquiring, operating, and maintaining such reservoirs as may hereafter be constructed within the basin of the Merrimack River under the terms of this compact, including, without limiting the same, funds for the acquisition of lands, easements, and rights of way, for the payment of damages and for the maintenance and operation of said reservoirs, and the expenses incidental thereto and to the functions of the Commission;
“(4) To sue and be sued;
“(6) To appoint, employ, or contract with such agents and employees, including the New Hampshire Water Resources Board, as may be required in the proper performance of the duties hereby committed to the Commission, and to fix and determine the qualifications, duties, and compensations of such agents and employees;
“(7) To enter into such contracts and agreements, and to do and perform any and all such acts, matters, and things as may be necessary and essential to the full and complete performance of the powers and duties hereby committed to and imposed upon it in connection with the construction, operation, and maintenance of the system of reservoirs hereby or hereafter authorized and as may be incidental thereto; and
"(8) To have such additional powers and duties as may hereafter be delegated to or imposed upon it from time to time by the action of the legislature of either of said states concurred in by the legislature of the other state.
"The Commission shall be charged with the duty, and it is hereby authorized and empowered, give such assurances, satisfactory to the Secretary of War, as are required by Section 3 of the Act of Congress hereinbefore referred to.
“The Commission may make, or cause to be made, such studies as it may deem necessary, in co-operation with the War Department, for the development of a comprehensive plan of flood control, as herein defined, and for the efficient management and regulation of said flood control system, and from time to time shall make reports and recommendations in respect thereto to the Governors of the signatory states.
“The Commission shall not pledge the credit of the signatory states, or either of them, nor shall it convey, encumber, or in any way undertake to alienate the lands, ea sements, and rights of way leased to it, as hereinafter provided, or any part thereof, or any interest therein, except by and with the consent of the signatory states.