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Senator ELLENDER. Well, I am very much surprised and disappointed, because we need this work-we need the vital soil it is to protect. We have got to protect it some way. With the meager expenditures contemplated here, this thing will simply be delaved and delayed and delayed to the point where much of our valuable topsoil that is now being used-and is so necessary there will simply be dissipated and flow down the Mississippi River and rest on the bottom in the Gulf of Mexico.
General CHORPENING. I will assure the Senator, that in defending our budget request, we made every effort to present those facts.
Senator ELLENDER. Who made this cut, the Budget Bureau or the
General CHORPENING. The Budget Bureau.
I just fear–I do not know-I do not want to make the charge, but some of these allocations look a little suspicious to me. You know what I mean by that. It appears that some had probably more pull than others.
Senator Young. The problem we have, Senator, is trying to balance the budget.
Senator ELLENDER. I know, but this is false economy to say the least. Here are people who know the problem, who have asked for $605,000. The Budget Bureau said, "We will give you just about half of what you asked for.” They nevertheless begin some new projects which take large sums of money.
If that is true economy, I am a Chinaman.
Senator Young. Have you completed your testimony on this project?
Colonel STARBIRD. I have, sir.
Colonel Starbird. Next is Cherry Valley Reservoir project in California, sir.
This is a project being constructed by local interests, but pursuant to the authorization act we are reimbursing local interests to the extent that flood control benefits are achieved.
The estimated cost of the project is $9 million, sir. To date we have had appropriated $7,469,900.
The budget recommends an appropriation of $1 million in fiscal year 1955. The amount appropriated in fiscal year 1954 was $200,000, sir.
On June 30, 1953, we had unexpended a very small sum—$77,681. As of December 31 of this year, we had unexpended $56,889, and we expect to have unexpended at the end of this fiscal year no substantial amount of money.
The project has a benefit-cost ratio of 1.2 to 1.
Colonel STARBIRD. We recommended a total of $1,530,100, within our own ceiling, which would have completed the appropriations for this project, sir.
Senator Young. Colonel, up until last year, I understand that the Federal contribution to this project was $8 million and that has now been increased to $9 million. Was that by an act of Congress.
Colonel STARBIRD. No, sir; not by act of Congress. The original authorization act provided that we could reimburse local interests for the degree of flood control that was being provided and we could reimburse local interests for storage in any of the several reservoirs that local interests had or would complete in the future.
Ultimately they plan to construct another reservoir other than the one to which we are now contributing.
In 1949, however, when they started the present reservoir and began to make flood-control storage available to us, we estimated the cost at that time of this other reservoir, the one where we ultimately wanted our storage. We estimated the contribution toward that other reservoir that would be fair, and determined that to be $12 million, based on costs then prevailing, if we got the storage where we wanted it, and in the amount we wanted.
We also estimated at that time that the total storage that local interests could provide and were willing to provide had the effectiveness of two-thirds of the required storage, in the ultimate downstream reservoir. From this we estimated the fair contribution toward the storage they would provide would be $8 million. However there were quite serious floods in 1950, 1951, and 1952, as a result of which local interests have revamped the storage allocation they can give us. They are going to give us more storage in the existing reservoirs, plus storage in this Cherry Valley Reservoir now being built, and will give us the storage in better places. As a result, the fair contribution has been determined to be $9 million instead of $8 million carried through
General CHORPENING. This increased amount was within authorization under the authorizing language in this project.
Senator ELLENDER. What will this project have as its objective? Just the holding back of waters for flood control?
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct, sir. It will aid in protecting the 40,000 acres along the Tuolumne River, and also will protect 140,000 acres containing several very heavily developed areas downstream on the San Joaquin River.
Senator ELLENDER. Will that assist in the irrigation?
Colonel STARBIRD. The reservoir as such will assist in irrigation, but we are not paying for storage for irrigation.
Senator ELLENDER. I understand that; but the problem there is not the same as the one we have just been discussing, below the Denison Dam. There is no loss of land out there—no sloughing away of topsoil, as you find in the case of bank stabilization along the Red River south of Denison Dam.
Colonel STARBIRD. Not that will be materially effected by this reservoir, sir.
General CHORPENING. There is no bank stabilization proposed with any of these funds.
Senator ELLENDER. Did I understand that your within-ceiling request for the Cherry Valley project was $1 million?
Colonel STARBIRD. $1 million; yes, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. Well now, reverting to the project below the Denison Dam, I had asked a while ago or suggested that there was some testimony showing the actual loss per year of fine land. Now, what does that amount to?
RED RIVER BELOW DENISON
ESTIMATED LAND LOST
Colonel STARBIRD. The estimate made by Mr. Mathias, Senator, was 2,000 acres lost annually.
Senator ELLENDER. 2,000 acres lost annually? I thought it was more, but that amount is astounding.
Colonel STARBIRD. That is right, Senator.
Senator ELLENDER. Now, that is going to continue until we get this project completed. It may be lessened as you complete it.
Now, going back to this $335,000, what can you do with such a small amount as that for bank stabilization, except to more or less maintain what you have got there now?
Colonel STARBIRD. There are two places, sir, just above the city of Shreveport, where the river is threatening badly to break through a levee and where we cannot set back the levee further. Those points are at Cash Point Bend and at Brownlee revetment.
We would use a small portion of the money on the Brownlee Bend, where some work was done in 1954. We would use the remainder of the money at Cash Point.
In both cases, bank revetment would be the type of work done.
Senator ELLENDER. So that has probably been allocated because of absolute necessity? I mean, because of the fact that the levee cannot be set back any further.
Colonel STARBIRD. Both of these pieces of work should be done in 1955.
Senator ELLENDER. Did you make that presentation to the Bureau of the Budget so as to obtain these few crumbs?
Colonel STARBIRD. Sir, at the time we presented our recommendation to the Bureau of the Budget, we presented two pieces of bank revetment as being the most urgent
ones. One of those was at Cash Point and the other was at Howard Bend located further downstream.
Since that time the Brownlee location has become more urgent than the Howard Bend location.
Also in the original $605,000, sir, we requested a substantial sum to improve three weak points in the levees, in levee district No. 1 at Mile 420 on Red River, on the north bank.
Senator ELLENDER. In this recommendation that you made, you suggested six-hundred-and-some-odd thousand dollars?
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct.
Senator Young. Colonel, before we leave the Cherry Valley Reservoir project, in California, I would like to get a little more information into the record.
There was an act passed by Congress last year, increasing the authorization for this project some $2% million. Is that correct?
General CHORPENING. That is correct.
Senator Young. The reason for the Federal Government doing that work was because of the need for storage of floodwater?
Colonel STARBIRD. That was part of the reason, sir.
Los ANGELES COUNTY DRAINAGE AREA (EXCLUSIVE OF WHITTIER
NARROWS RESERVOIR), CALIFORNIA
Colonel STARBIRD. The next project is the Los Angeles County drainage area project in California; a comprehensive project for flood control and drainage improvement, through improvement of channels and construction of certain reservoirs, to protect a densely populated and highly developed area, about 40 miles wide by 40 miles long.
The estimated cost of that project is $326,885,400. We have had appropriated to date $119,926,300, or approximately 37 percent of the total cost. That includes an appropriation in the fiscal year 1954 of $6,200,000.
The Budget recommends for fiscal year 1955 $8,500,000, sir.
The project has a benefit-cost ratio of 2.87 to 1. There were unexpended funds at the end of fiscal year 1953 in the amount of $3,319,270.
The unexpended funds at the present time, that is of December 31, 1953, were $3,214,403, a large proportion of which was still unobligated at that midpoint in the fiscal year.
We estimate that our unexpended balance will be reduced to $343,970 by the end of the year. That unexpended balance considers the fact that we will loan to the project $706,000 during the current fiscal year to keep progress on the most economical schedule.
Senator ELLENDER. One minute. You are going to loan to that project?
Colonel STARBIRD. Yes, sir.
Senator ELLENDER. Where are you going to get the money to do that?
Colonel STARBIRD. In this particular case, sir, from the Whittier Narrows project
Senator ELLENDER. In the same vicinity?
Colonel STARBIRD. In the same vicinity, and in fact, a part of the overall plan for this area. We are loaning the money from Whittier Narrows to this project.
Senator ELLENDER. How much did you request for this project?
General CHORPENING. It should be stated that of the $15 million, $8 million was within the ceiling and $7 million was over the ceiling.
Senator ELLENDER. $8 million within the ceiling?
Senator ELLENDER. So they gave you what you asked, within the ceiling?
General CHORPENING. Yes.
Senator ELLENDER. And unlike the Red River project, where the amount that you asked within the ceiling was cut 50 percent, in this case you were given exactly what you asked for?
General CHORPENING. That is correct.
Colonel STARBIRD. In clarification of that, the figure given actually was $8,500,000. There was added a half-million dollars later approved as assistance in meeting the danger which threatened as a result of forest fires.
We reduced one project in this same area by recommending transfer of half a million dollars to the Los Angeles project, and the Bureau of the Budget approved the transfer.
Senator ELLENDER. So you actually got then $500,000 more than you had requested, that is, within the ceiling?
General CHORPENING. Which was reduced, however, on the Whittier Narrows?
Senator ELLENDER. I understand how that is done.
General CHORPENING. We made a savings on that project which became apparent since the necessity arose.
Senator ELLENDER. You got no outside suggestions; just did that on your own? Ġeneral CHORPENING. On our suggestion; yes, sir. Senator ELLENDER. Thank you.