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Whereas the Ouachita River Valley Association is the representative agency given the responsibility for all food control and river development in the Ouachita Valley: Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Hope Chamber of Commerce of Hope, Ark., pledges our support and urges that every effort be exhausted to the end that the necessary funds be appropriated by the Congress for this channel work. That a copy of this resolution be placed in the hands of the Ouachita River Valley Association, a copy to the Chamber of Commerce of Prescott, Ark., the Chamber of Commerce of Arkadelphia, Ark., the mayor of Murfreesboro, Ark., and a copy placed in the minutes of the Chamber of Commerce of Arkadelphia. Resolution approved this 12th day of February 1954.
HOPE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Senator McCLELLAN. The estimate for the Ozan Creek unit is only $70,000?
Mr. THATCHER. That is my understanding of the present estimate.
Senator McCLELLAN. If the budget included another $60,000, from the Corps of Engineers added to this $492,000, in the Budget for the Little Missouri, it would do the entire job completed? In other words, it would be about a $10,000 saving if it is tied on.
What is the amount of saving you estimate, General?
General CHORPENING. We believe a saving can be made there. We hope it will be to as great an extent as $10,000 if it is done as part of the work which is in the budget of $492,000.
Senator McCLELLAN. In other words, one contractor, whoever does that work, would be right there on the job and could do it all?
General CHORPENING. There would also be some saving to the Government for inspection and supervision.
Senator McCÎELLAN. It is impracticable from the standpoint of economy to do one unit and not to do the other one?
General CHORPENING. It would be better to do them both at the same time.
Mr. THATCHER. That is what we would like to have done. Besides saving some money, it certainly saves some wear and tear on myself as the representative of the association and I am certain it will save some wear and tear on a Congressman and a Senator that I know of because the people down there are riled up.
Senator ELLENDER. I hope they are not being blamed for this because these people here have certainly been very diligent on all of these projects.
Mr. THATCHER. People are not apt to look too far to see who is to blame. They blame the fellow in the road and we do not want that to happen to our good Congressman and Senators.
There is one other point that I want to bring up. That is in connection with transportation, navigation on the Ouachita River. We had an authorization in 1950 to make the Quachita River a 9-foot channel. However, in passing that authorization, the Congress said that “We will first give you a modified 9-foot channel to help you bring up your tonnage so it will thoroughly justify the modern 9-foot channel.”
We believe that that modified 9-foot channel which has an authorization of $500,000 should be given to us at this time, because we do have an inadequate transportation setup on the river. It is only 619 feet deep. We cannot interchange our barges and boats with the Mississippi River and the Intracoastal Canal. We are handicapped severely. We are trying every way we know in order to develop tonnage and have succeeded somewhat this year. We increased our tonnage 50 percent over last year. That is not enough and we know it, but we cannot get people who want to ship to make the additional expenditures, necessary, unless they can go beyond where their barges go now, rather than have to take them to New Orleans and transfer the cargoes.
In support of that, I want to place in the record a letter or statement from Theodore G. Preston, marine inanager, traffic department of the Commercial Solvents Corp.
Senator YOUNG. That may be placed in the record. (The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF THEODORE G. PRESTON, M.IRINE MANAGER, TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT,
COMMERCIAL SOLVENTS CORP. Two years ago, I appeared before the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, and at that time I said that based on the fact that we were going to have a minimum of 6 feet of water for navigation on the Quachita River, that Commercial Solvents had decided to go ahead with their $20 million expansion program at Sterlington, La. I would just like to open these remarks by saying that has now been accomplished, the money has been spent, the production of methanol at Sterlington has been doubled and we have increased and added the production of anhydrous ammonia and nitrogen solutions.
Since 1949, when we started moving methanol by water on the Ouachita, every year because of low water and other navigation difficulties, we lost a sizable amount of water tonnage to the railroads. In other words, because the barges could not get through fully loaded, we had to supplement our water shipments with tank-car shipments from Sterlington to New Orleans. We realized that the increased production at Sterlington was going to make it necessary that we arrange our shipping schedule so that all of the tonnage which was destined to be moved between Sterlington and New Orleans could move by water and that none of this tonnage would be lost to the railroads, because the rail cost is more than double the cost of moving the methanol by water.
To enable us to accomplish this, we put 2 tugs and 4 barges into a service which had previously had just 1 tug and 2 barges working and with this extra equipment we were able during 1953 to keep practically all of the methanol on the water, despite the 7 months of extremely low water and the severe navigating difficulties.
Although our increased production of methanol did not come on flow until October 1953, we moved during 1953 50,000 tons of methanol via the Ouachita River from Sterlington to New Orleans. With our increased production we will produce approximately 30 million gallons of methanol annually at Sterlington and of this 30 million gallons, we estimate a minimum of 20 million gallons, which is approximately 66,000 tons, will be moved via the Ouachita River.
During January, we moved slightly over 5,000 tons and our schedule for movement during February is another 5,000 tons. This movement of 10,000 tons in the first 2 months of 1954, would indicate that our estimate of approximately 66,000 tons will be accomplished in 1954.
We are in vital need of the 9-foot channel on the Ouachita. Because of the present conditions, it is necessary for us to use equipment which is not standard on the Mississippi and its tributaries where we could use standard equipment if we had the 9-foot channel. At present, on shipments to points like Chicago and the Midwest, barges have to be discharged at our terminal at New Orleans and reloaded in the standard type equipment for movement over the Mississioni Waterway. If we had the 9-foot channel we would be able to load standard equipment at Sterlington and move this equipment to any destination without transshipment at New Orleans.
All of the above is the story on our transportation of methanol by water and if the 9-foot channel was a guaranteed reality we would immediately undertake the movement of other products such as anhydrous ammonia and nitrogen solutions by water. But we cannot contemplate these movements which require special marine equipment with a considerable outlay of money, until such times as we are sure that the 9-foot channel will be available to us at Sterlington.
Mr. THATCHER. I believe that is all the time that I should take before you. I appreciate being here and thank the committee for their attention.
Senator Young. Thank you.
Representative HARRIS. Mr. H. W McMillan, an attorney from Arkadelphia, and president of the Ouachita Valley Association was scheduled to appear here, but he could not make the trip because of pressing business of his own back home
Congressman Norrell of our State was to appear here this morning also. He is engaged in hearings before the House Appropriations Committee and asked me to express his interest in support of these projects
The Ouachita River has its source in Mr. Norrell's district. It runs through the center of my district in south Arkansas on into Louisiana, to the Black River and thus into the Mississippi. A comprehensive program has been authorized.
BLAKELY MOUNTAIN DAM AND RESERVOIR
I am in complete accord and support the budget request that will complete Blakely Mountain Dam and Reservoir this fiscal year, 1955. I think it is about $2,300,000. That is an important project in the program.
DE GRAY DAM
I share Mr. Thatcher's views with reference to the De Gray Dam on the Caddo River which is a tributary of the Ouachita just above Arkadelphia in Clark County.
Senator McClellan and I, with local citizens of that area, attended a meeting in Arkadelphia last fall. The division engineer and the district engineer from Vicksburg were present at this meeting. It was thoroughly demonstrated that the people throughout the area of the Quachita River Basin were tremendously concerned with this project. It was authorized in 1950. We have been advised by the engineers now that it is necessary to make a restudy. That restudy apparently is necessary in view of the new development in the area.
We are concerned about the fact that though the engineers say it would take only $105,000 to make the restudy, yet no request is made for it. It should be included.
OZAN CREEK AND LITTLE MISSOURI RIVER
With reference to Ozan Creek and Little Missouri River, the budget contains $492,000 which will complete the channelizing of the Little Missouri River which is a tributary of the Ouchita River. All of these projects were authorized at the same time that Narrows Dam and Reservoir was authorized in 1941. Narrows Dam, which is at the head of this river, was completed in 1950 at a total expenditure of Government funds of about $13 million.
As the Senator said a moment ago, we thought these other projects were a part of that same project. Nevertheless, they have been delayed. When the budget request came to complete the channelizing of Little Missouri River that full benefits may be attained from these projects as originally authorized for that area, we find this little creek was left out.
LAND ACQUISITION BY GOVERNMENT Mr. Chairman, in 1941 the United States Government took over 60,000 acres of land right in the heart of this area, as fine lands as there are in the United States. It did this for the purpose of a proving ground. There are 3 distances in the Ozan Creek Valley—the south fork, the north fork, and the middle fork. Local interests, at great expense, channelized 2 of these forks. They come to a head just a few miles from the confluence of the Little Missouri River. All they are asking to do is to give a chance for that little distance to be opened up so the water can get out in view of the fact that the Gov. ernment itself, through a roadbed, added to the flood damage in this area during the war. It is absolutely necessary if thousands of acres in this area are going to be relieved of this flood damage that this water be permitted to get out.
A year ago the estimated cost was $52,000. Now it is estimated, if it is separate from the other project, that it would be $70,000. Consequently, it seemed to me that if both of these projects would be completed at the same time, it would be a saving to the Federal Government of several thousand dollars. We are earnestly urging that be done in connection with this program in order to complete it.
Senator McCLELLAN. I think it should be made very clear here that the local interest prior to the time that the Government condemned this property, took it over down there, and constructed that proving ground for the war, at their own cost, provided this drainage on these branches of the Ozan Creek.
When the Government took over with its construction program in that area, they blocked this lower drainage that has aggravated the whole situation. What we are actually asking here is that the Government undo the very thing it did to injure these people after they made their own investment in draining their own property. It ought not be delayed.
Representative HARRIS. That is true. I was born and reared in this community. I have been all over this area barefooted, on a horse, in a wagon. I have baled hay in this area and other types of farming. I know what the entire situation is.
Furthermore, what Mr. Thatcher said is true, too, about the wear and tear of a Congressman and Senator.
The maintenance for the locks and dams is included in the budget and we support that.
I do want to put in a word for the Calion project which is a part of this program at Calion, Ark., for the protection of the town, the industry, and the people of the area.
There is no request in the budget for it. But we hope to get that sometime. It will only cost about $530,000 to protect that area.
Thank you very much for your consideration, Mr. Chairman.
Senator YOUNG. We have Congressman Younger here along with a representative from Congressman Gubser's office.
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF., PROJECT STATEMENT OF HON. J. ARTHUR YOUNGER, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Representative YOUNGER. I am J. Arthur Younger, from the Ninth District of California in which the Redwood City Harbor item is involved, $1 million recommended in the budget.
I want to emphasize one point which is important. This fund is essential to make 100 percent of the use of the money already invested in the port and in the harbor which the Government has heretofore invested in. I think that is one of the important things.
You have the engineers' report which caused the Budget Bureau to put in the $1 million. It is recommended and endorsed by our two Senators.
Senator Young. I have here a statement from Congressman Gubser who is unable to appear here. He has requested that it be submitted for the record, and it will be done.
(The statement referred to follows:) STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN CHARLES S. GUBSER, 10TH DISTRICT, CALIFORNIA,
REGARDING BUDGET FOR PORT OF REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I respectfully request your approval of the $1 million item for the harbor of Redwood City, Calif.
Although the port is not located in my district, I am particularly interested in its improvement because its facilities are used by industry located in my congressional district, and would be used even more extensively once the port is improved.
In this, I have the support of business and industry of my district, including the chambers of commerce of the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. Another group strongly advocating improvement of the port is the California Prune & Apricot Growers' Association which, among others, would benefit from approval of this budget item.
May I repeat, at this time, some of the arguments presented to you during simi. lar hearings held last spring. Dried fruit and canned goods shippers of central California would benefit from the port improvement through reduction of their transportation costs, and through more expeditious handling of their shipments. Some 200,000 tons of canned goods and dried fruit are shipped annually to Atlantic ports in the intercoastal trade from my area. At the present time, shippers must transport these shipments from their Santa Clara Valley plants to a dock at San Francisco, Oakland, or Alameda, involving a truck haul of about 50 miles. Considerable congestion is encountered at such docks.
Were these shippers able to use the port of Redwood City-and they will, once the improvements under the $1 million budget item are made-the congestion now encountered at San Francisco and East Bay docks would be eliminated, and the truck haul would be reduced to half the mileage. Transportation charges to the dock would thus be cut by approximately 75 cents per ton, and the shorter distance to the port, plus freedom from congestion, would result in faster turn. about of the trucks, and would thus enable shippers to adjust their plant operations to effect further economies.