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releases up to 2,250 cubic feet
second must be made from the reservoir. Converted to power, this water would capitalize to $18,560,000. Somewhere, then, between the minimum of $856,000 and the maximum of $18,560,000 is the actual savings.
The city feels, then, that since a 48-inch line is to be built, the capacity of which we feel we have lost, and since the construction of this line will result in a tremendous economic savings to the Government, that Congress should consider reimbursing the city in the sum of $1,115,000 which the Senate committee recommended last session.
In conclusion, gentlemen, we wish to state again that the city of Muskogee has sold $2 million in bonds with an accumulated sum of $512,000 in interest to pay for a line which we feel has been necessitated by the construction and operation by the Government of the Fort Gibson Dam. We do not feel that the Government can satisfactorily operate the dam to protect the city's water supply. We feel that the economic worth of the water wasted will capitalize to substantially in excess of the cost of the line proposed and repeatedly promised to the city. Therefore we respectfully request that favorable consideration be given to reimbursing the city in the amount of $1,115,000.
Senator KNOWLAND. Thank you, Mayor.
Senator ELLENDER. Mr. Chairman, I am very much interested in this and other projects, but I have just been called to the Agriculture Committee to make up a quorum on an important bill, so I will have to absent myself for a while.
OKLAHOMA CITY FLOODWAY
STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT S. KERR, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Senator KERR. I appreciate this opportunity, Mr. Chairman. I will not belabor the issue. I would like to file with the committee a statement in which I address myself to a number of projects before the committee: The Oklahoma City Floodway; the Muskogee waterline; bank stabilization on the Arkansas River; the Table Rock Dam; and planning funds for the engineers.
Senator KNOWLAND. That may go into the record in full at this point.
(The material referred to follows:
STATEMENT OF SENATOR ROBERT S. KERR ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY FLOODWAY
I appreciate the opportunity of appearing before this committee. I will make a brief statement. Mr. Morrison Cunningham, who is representing the city manager and the City Council of Oklahoma City, will make a detailed statement.
The Oklahoma City Foodway is now under construction. The first unit has been completed and the Corps of Engineers is ready to let the contract for the second unit.
Congress has made available $2,200,000 for the first unit of the project. The President's budget asks for $2,314,000 for the fiscal year 1955 to be used in the second unit. This is the minimum required, and if additional money is not made available, the Corps of Engineers should be given authority to make contract obligations to meet the need of a normal rate of construction of the project.
Local interests have made funds available to meet the requirements for their part of the project. The city voted $2,775,000 on May 9, 1950. This was used to purchase rights-of-way.
On December 8, 1953, Oklahoma City voted an additional $1,812,000 for the project which will be used to purchase additional rights-of-way and make utility relocations in the second unit of the project.
On December 8, 1953( Oklahoma County voted bonds of $204,000 for the relocation and construction of a bridge across the project.
In addition to these local participations, rights-of-way have been purchased for the construction of a State highway across the project to serve as an access road to Tinker Field.
Thus it can be seen that Oklahoma City, as a partner in this project, has more than carried its load and is anxious that the Congress make the funds available for the completion of the project as soon as possible. Benefits accruing to the project cannot be realized until it is completed and placed in operation. In the meanwhile, investments of the Government, the State, the county, the city, and private business concerns, totaling in excess of $125 million, are in continuous threat of flood damage.
I urge that the committee make available the full amount contained in the President's budget for the continued construction of this project.
MUSKOGEE WATER LINE I appear before this committee urging the appropriation of funds, or authorization for use of funds already appropriated and available, for the construction of a waterline connecting Fort Gibson Dam with the Muskogee water intake.
This is a subject which has been before the Appropriations Committees a number of times. It seems to me that it is time for this matter to be settled once and for all.
The Fort Gibson Reservoir was authorized for construction by the 76th Congress, 1st session, substantially as recommended by the Chief of Engineers in House Document No. 107. Funds have been appropriated from time to time for the completion of this great multiple-purpose project. In the construction of the project the Corps of Engineers made provision by an opening in the dam to connect with a closed flow line from the dam to the Muskogee water intake.
The Fort Gibson Dam is now in operation but the relocation and protection of Muskogee's water supply is yet not accomplished. Surely this is a responsi. bility of the Federal Government as much as relocating roads, railroads, or other utilities which are adversely affected by the construction of a Federal project.
In Public Law 374, the appropriation act approved May 2, 1946, the following language was inserted in the bill :
"Provided further, That in connection with the construction of the Fort Gibson flood control project in Oklahoma, the Chief of Engineers is authorized and directed to cooperate with the officials of the city of Muskogee in protecting the domestic water supply of said city."
The above language which is contained in the 1946-47 appropriation act apparently did not satisfy the Corps of Engineers as to granting them specific authority to construct the necessary facility to protect Muskogee's water supply. Therefore, in the Senate civil functions appropriation bill of 1950 the following language was inserted :
"The civil functions appropriation act has in 2 previous years carried language to the effect that in the construction of the Fort Gibson flood-control project in Oklahoma the Chief of Engineers is authorized and directed to cooperate with the officials of the city of Muskogee in protecting the domestic water supply of such city. The committee has not deemed it necessary to repeat this language in the bill for the fiscal year 1950 but is of the same opinion that the Chief of Engineers should continue to cooperate with the officials of the city of Muskogee in protecting the domestic water supply of the city. The committee was advised that the Fort Gibson Dam will adversely affect the operation of the city of Muskogee's water intake on the Grand River because of backwater from the Arkansas River, which is very high in mineral content. For this reason, the Government should move the intake upstream to connect with the reservoir to be formed by the Fort Gibson Danı.
“The committee was advised that in accordance with existing law it is the policy of the Corps of Engineers to acquire properties which are needed for authorized flood-control reservoir projects. Funds for the acquisition program, including relocations determined to be necessary, are included in the general appropriations made by Congress for the construction of flood control projects. Thus, it is the committee's opinion in connection with the appropriations for the Fort Gibson Reservoir, Okla., as well as appropriations for other authorized projects, that such appropriations are available for purposes appropriate to carrying out the project as authorized by the Congress.”
Last year in the Senate report on the civil functions appropriation bill, on page 15, was the following language.
"After hearing the testimony of local witnesses, this committee desires that the Corps of Engineers proceed, in cooperation with the city authorities of Muskogee, Okla., with the construction of a waterline from the Fort Gibson Dam to the present intake of the water-supply system of the city of Muskogee at a cost not to exceed $1,115,000; provided, however, that if the city desires a larger line than 36 inches inside diameter, the additional costs will be paid by the city of Muskogee. The committee desires that the work be started as soon as practicable using funds that still remain available to the Fort Gibson project from earlier fiscal-year appropriations and that such additional funds as are needed be included in the budget for 1955."
In the conference report on this bill, on page 8, is the following language:
“The conferees desire that the Corps of Engineers study the extent of actual or probable damages to the water-supply system of the city of Muskogee, Okla., resulting from the construction and operation of the Fort Gibson Dam. The results of this study should be presented to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate not later than January 1, 1954. Pending further action by the Congress no funds are to be obligated toward the construction of a waterline from Fort Gibson Dam to the present intake of the water-supply system of the city as contemplated in Senate Report No. 456 of the present Congress.”
I am advised that the Corps of Engineers has submitted this report to the committee in conformance with the request made by the conference committee. I am further advised that the report recommends a cash contribution to the construction of the waterline of $200,000 based upon figures compiled by the Corps of Engineers. The Corps of Engineers arrived at this conclusion by taking the equivalent revenue that would be received from the water release to prevent pollution to the Muskogee water supply and amortized it over a period of 50 years at 2 percent interest. The record which the Corps of Engineers used to reach this figure is short and inaccurate.
The city of Muskogee, through its mayor and city manager, has taken the records for a number of years and has some rather astounding information to submit to the committee. I think, in fairness to the officials from Muskogee, that this committee should be advised that they have not had the advantage of the Corps of Engineers' report to your committee in making their study. It is quite obvious from actions previously taken by Congress, and on the basis of the actual circumstances as they exist, which are admitted by the Corps of Engineers, that Muskogee is entitled to receive the benefits of the relocation of their water intake as recommended previously by this committee. I, therefore, urge that the committee make available the full amount which would be required to construct a 36-inch line from the dam to the city's water intake.
BANK STABILIZATION, ARKANSAS RIVER (ARKANSAB AND OKLAHOMA) I am gratifed to know that the President's budget contains $3 million for emergency bank stabilization on the Arkansas River. Testimony previously made before this committee has indicated the urgency of this situation and we urge that the full amount of the budget request be made available to carry this work forward in order that valuable lands will not be lost by bank caving in Oklahoma and our neighboring State, Arkansas.
TABLE ROCK DAM
The Table Rock Dam is in Missouri, a short distance from the State of Oklahoma. My interest in this project is making available hydroelectric power to the REA's in the area. I am advised that $2,350,000 is now available for construction of this project, without additional appropriations, providing that the Appropriations Committees will release it for construction.
The history of this project is well known to the members of this committee. It will be recalled that the REA's relinquished their claim on power from the Bull Shoals project so that electric energy might be supplied to an aluminum company under defense contract. In the meantime, it was fully understood that the Table Rock project would be constructed at an early date and that the power from the project would be made available to the REA's.
The Assistant Secretary of Interior, who has charge of the disposal of hydroelectric power in the general area, has advised us that the full amount of power available to the REA's is 90,000 kilowatts in this area and until the Table Rock project can be put on the line that no more power can be expected for the expansion of the REA's. The power is badly needed. Therefore, I urge the committee to release the money so that the construction of this project can go forward.
PLANNING FUNDS I know that the committee is aware of the fact that the Corps of Engineers has been for a number of years short of planning funds to bring a number of projects up to a point where construction can be commenced.
I urge that consideration be given to this item to the extent that the Keystone Dam and Reservoir project in Oklahoma may have a minimum of $1 million for advanced planning in this fiscal year.
In this regard I also urge that adequate funds are made available to the Corps of Engineers, as the chairman agency of the Arkansas-White-Red Basins Inter-Agency Committee, to enable them to consummate their report and bring it before the Congress.
Senator KERR. I appreciate the attention the committee has given to the representatives of the city of Muskogee. I believe it has been apparent to the chairman and to the committee that their statement here is the result of thorough study and deep conviction. I want to say, Mr. Chairman, I have as high respect for the Army engineers as any agency of the Government. I must say, however, that experience has demonstrated to me that it is possible for them to err. I am convinced that they have done that in this instance.
Frankly, Mr. Chairman, I deeply regret to see on the record of a retiring general of the Army engineers—and one of its finest and greatest-the blot that this proposition might involve if the committee does not see fit to save my great friend, General Chorpening, from his own error. I know that the committee shares my great respect and affection for him, and I sincerely hope that they will join me in the making of a decision here that will leave my great friend's record clear of the error he has thus far seemed determined to make.
This matter has been before this committee many times in the last 12 years. Without exception this committee has reached the conclusion that the equities were such that the amount asked for by the city of Muskogee should be given to them. In the environment around this committee in 1953, the chairman is familiar with the action taken by the committee that directed the engineers to do this job provided the city would take care of the cost in the amount of $1,115,000. Maintaining its present position and having the opportunity to grow depends upon this problem being solved and this necessity being met. I know this committee is not going to permit a situation to develop where the Federal Government turns its back upon one of the great cities of Oklahoma and says to them that we repudiate not only our moral obligation, not only the action that justice would indicate, but also the action which on so many occasions we have oflicially approved.
The building of the confidence of people in their government is a long and difficult process. Official actions, Mr. Chairman, should be taken very slowly that would develop the flow to that confidence which would result if this committee did only that which would meet the specifications of the report of the Army engineers.
I will not say there is no technical basis for their conclusion. I know they are convinced there is, or they would not have made that report. But I remind this committee and its distinguished chairman time and time again that these Army engineers have taken that position; and yet this committee, on the basis of the facts and equity involved, has given the answer which we ask you to again give.
OKLAHOMA CITY FLOODWAY
I will not take further time. The other matters in this statement are equally pressing. The city of Oklahoma City has voted bonds of nearly a million dollars to carry out its part in the program of building the floodway there, and we earnestly seek the committee to provide the funds requested in the President's budget and to authorize the engineers to operate in such a way that if construction gets ahead of schedule, they will have authority to continue so as to expedite the work and protect the investment being made.
I appreciate this opportunity to be before the committee. I know the calls upon your time. I am not going to take any more of your time.
Senator KNOWLAND. Senator, we are always pleased to have you appear before this committee. We are glad to hear from you at any time.
STATEMENT OF HON. ED EDMONDSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Representative EDMONDSON. I think it would be impossible to add anything to the very fine presentation already made by Mayor Beard, City Manager Harrell, and Senator Kerr. I would like to associate myself with their presentation and with the facts which they have presented to this committee and urge that this committee stand firm once again in the position it has taken in the past and if possible stand firm on into the conference level on this thing if necessary.
I was very much encouraged yesterday by the position of the gentleman from Wisconsin on this. I think we are going to come closer in the House to meeting the Senate's position it has historically taken on this. I hope the Senate will give us the aid it has given in the past and stand firm on through conference, if necessary, to see this matter disposed of as it should be.
Senator KNOWLAND. Thank you, Congressman.
The committee will be glad to hear from Senator Monroney of Oklahoma at this time.