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STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN SHERMAN COOPER, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
Senator COOPER. Congressman Spence has precisely and succinctly stated the facts. I join with him and my colleague, Senator Clements, in urging the appropriation which has been recommended by the President, be approved by this committee.
Senator YOUNG. That is the $1 million ?
As Congressman Spence has stated, the Ohio River is an unpredictable river. This city has had a flood on the average of 1 out of every 18 months.
It is also true that in the last 17 years they have had 3 floods which have had an aggregate damage effect of over $6 million. This proj. ect is about two-thirds completed. The Bureau of the Budget and the President, although they have made great effort to bring our budget into balance, yet saw the importance of completing these flood projects. Even with the effort being made to balance the budget, they recommended this $1 million for the completion of this flood wall.
Maysville is a very important business and industrial city in that section of our State. It means a great deal to have this wall completed. I hope and I believe that the committee will uphold the request of the President.
Senator Young. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF REBECCA HORDE, MAYOR, MAYSVILLE, KY.
Mrs. HORDE. I have a short statement to make, Mr. Chairman.
Mrs. HORDE. I have come up to testify before you and I am delighted to be here. I have served in office for 4 years now.
I started serving in 1950. A very wonderful group of gentlemen in Maysville have been associated with me in this project and Mr. Coughlin is here with me today, along with Mr. Tom Donovan. They are members of the Maysville flood wall committee. It was their idea and energy that made the project possible and getting a good flood wall started.
I like to tell about Maysville because I am sure General Chorpening and his engineers base their decisions for our appropriation on what is economically feasible. I am sure that is what you gentlemen have to base your decisions on. Maysville, Ky., is 167 years old. It is on the Ohio River, 60 miles above Cincinnati Ohio, 60 miles below Portsmouth. From the interior it is about 60 miles from Lexington. We have a free bridge built by Kentucky into Ohio and there we are on the main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, a branch line of the Louisville & Norfolk and right across the river on our free bridge from the shortest east and west route in the United States, No. 52, and on the shortest north and south routes, the famous historic Highway No. 68.
There is no reason in the world why Maysville, Ky., is not today one of the biggest cities in the United States by reason of population. I call it the biggest little city on the Ohio because there is no city of any consequence or any size which has any more to offer than Maysville.
But the one thing that we have had to contend with year after year has been the floods of the river. We have had our banks and our churches and our schools and our industries and all that we possess, washed out time after time, because we lie along the river 6 miles long. We are only four streets deep but we get to the foothills. Everything that is of any importance in Maysville is in the flood area. It has been destroyed time and time again. But today, to show you what the very fine people of Maysville have been able to accomplish, and due, too, to the fact that we are in the middle of one of the finest agricultural sections in the United States, we are the world's second biggest burley loose-leaf tobacco market. We have three of the world's biggest industries. We are financially very strong. We have the oldest bank in Kentucky. We have two very fine banks, the total resources of which combined, amount to $25 million.
In commerce we are the trading center for a population of over 100,000 people, 5 Kentucky counties and 2 Ohio counties. Flood season is always our tobacco industry season.
In the past thousands and thousands of dollars have been lost in tobacco that has been delivered to the market. The fact that Maysville has this agricultural center is the basis that justifies the fact that the Carnation Milk Co. has their biggest cannery and condensery in the United States at Maysville. Thousands and thousands of pounds of milk have had to be dumped flood after flood. That is the thing that is so distressing to us now because since the beginning of the flood wall the people have had the faith that they were going to have protection from the water.
When I first began coming up here with the committee members 4 years ago, I said an inspiration had filled the hearts and minds of the people and they had expended in building $11/2 million.
Today I can tell you that we are finishing a $31,2 million expansion program. The people in Maysville are very conservative. They are large holders of Government bonds. They are big taxpayers. We are living in dread that with all of the expansion, all of the investment, and all that we have to compensate you and our Federal Government in the future with the additional taxes, that we will realize something can happen and we would get a flood before the wall can be finished.
I think General Chorpening will bear me out that it is about 60 percent finished now.
We have in Maysville also a very fine hospital, about a $600,000 being added to a $1 million investment last year. That hospital serves a radius of five counties in Kentucky and Ohio. Whenever there is a food, the patients have to be taken out to other places because the
water is cut off and the utilities are cut off. So I am telling you these things that you will know how very necessary it is.
As Congressman Spence told you, the citizens of Maysville are paying for the rights-of-way with bonded indebtedness of $530,000 with ample security. The Government, through General Chorpening and the Engineers, has been perfectly wonderful to us. So have you, but I think you will realize the immensity of the urgency when you know of this increased investment. We are only 60 percent completed. The $1 million that was included in the President's budget is certainly little enough to give us to continue on with this work. I am very, very grateful to you for hearing us. I am very grateful to you for all that you have done for us. I want to refer you to Dun & Bradstreet for all that I have said about Maysville's financial rating.
Iwant to refer you to the Federal Government, the Department of Agriculture, for our soil references, and to General Chorpening and to Mr. Bousquet, whom the people had great pleasure in meeting in Maysville.
Senator YOUNG. I think your statement was a million-dollar statement, too.
Mrs. HORDE. That is a nice thing to say.
Mrs. HORDE. He is the gentleman who went East and found out about floodwalls.
I might say that these gentlemen have no axes to grind. They are good citizens who are trying to do something for Maysville.
Senator Young. Mr. Coughlin's statement may be filed for the record.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CITY OF MAYSVILLE, KY, We appear before you representing the city of Maysville, Ky., requesting an appropriation to continue the building of a flood wall on the Ohio River at Maysville, Ky.
The authority for the local protection project for Maysville, Ky., is the Flood Control Act of 1938, Public No. 761, 75th Congress, 3d session, and House Document No. 306, 74th Congress, 1st session; House Committee on Flood Control, Document No. 1, 75th Congress, 1st session; and Report No. 2353, 75th Congress, 3d session,
The project consists of food walls and levies.
(1) The flood stage at Maysville is 51.6 feet. During the past 40 years that stage has been exceeded by the Ohio River 25 times or on the average of 1 each 19 months.
(2) It is estimated that the annual loss which the project would prevent and protect us from approximates $250,000.
(3) Maysville's hospital during major floods becomes isolated to more than 75 percent of its potential patients and is practically useless.
(4) The city water pumping station is submerged by all major floods.
(5) The city has many other industries, mercantile establishments, and three banks. The floodwaters in 1937 inundated about 1,300 dwellings making 4,300 persons refugees and 189 stores, 11 schools and churches, 2 hotels, 46 industrial buildings, and 1 of its 2 daily newspapers were flooded.
(6) Maysville, long known as a tobacco town, is the second largest burley looseleaf market in the world. At least 50 percent of all these tobacco facilities are located in the flood district and the floods usually occur during the tobacco marketing and processing seasons. More than 2,500 persons in Maysville are employed in the tobacco industry. This industry affecting farmers, manufacturers, processors, and employees is entirely demoralized by the major ftoods.
(7) Maysville's farming area produces more than 300,000 pounds of milk daily all of which is then lost during these times.
(8) Inside Maysville there is considerable railroad trackage which would be protected.
(9) Maysville voters voted in a ratio to 10 to 1 to issue bonds to pay its part of the cost including rights-of-way, damage, necessary utilities, and sewerage changes. The city's part of the money is now available.
(10) We respectfully refer you to the Chief of Engineer Corps of the War Department for more detailed data which will corroborate the need for the construction of a flood wall and levies at Maysville, Ky.
We wish to thank you for your courtesy in affording us an opportunity to ap pear before you. Sincerely,
FLOODWALL COMMITTEE OF MAYSVILLE, KY.
STATEMENT OF HON. EARLE C. CLEMENTS, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
Senator CLEMENTS. I want to join my colleagues in Congress from this district in expressing my interest in the retention of the budget request. I am not going to take your time further in being repetitious. I know this committee's actions in the past. They are not going to fail to appropriate the budget request for this flood wall when this is probably the next to the last appropriation that the Government will be called upon for its completion.
I could commend no other project in our State or any other with higher priority than this one.
Senator ELLENDER. I would suggest Congressman Spence get the House to act. We are going to act.
Representative SPENCE. We will do our best to have the House act satisfactorily.
Senator CLEMENTS. I would like to comment on what the Senator from Louisiana has said. The Senate has been very helpful in protecting the appropriation for Maysville in the past.
Senator ELLENDER. I think we started the project here, Senator.
PORT ALLEN, LA., PROJECT STATEMENT OF HON. RUSSELL B. LONG, A UNITED STATES SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
Senator LONG. I would like to appear here on behalf of the construcstion of the Plaquemine-Morgan City project, the modication of exist
There were funds appropriated by this committee and approved by the Congress in 1950 for this project. Unfortunately at the outbreak of the Korean war the then President, thought it was necessary to put down a “no new start" order. Because of that order this project could not be undertaken in 1950. Congress had appropriated money subsequently for planning. However, the construction of this project has not been undertaken.
The lock at Plaquemine is antiquated and dilapidated. It is not adequate for modern barge traffic. During certain times of the year, it is completely unusable and for large modern tows it is not usable at all.
The first witness I would like to introduce is Mr. Ernest Wilson who is president of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission.
Senator ELLENDER. Before Mr. Wilson starts, I wish to state the record indicates on 2 or 3 occasions I discussed with General Chorpening about this project. I am very hopeful, as I indicated before, that in addition to the $80,000 that has been recommended for further planning of the lock there that we can obtain at least $1 million to $1,500,000 to initiate construction of the project. I am wondering if at this point General Chorpening could tell us how much in the way of construction funds could be utilized efficiently on the project this year?
General CHORPENING. We could use $1 million in this coming year on the initiation of the project, those parts consist of channel construction. The $80,000 that is in the budget for planning is needed for the further planning of the lock itself. We could use $1 million as I have stated.
Senator ELLENDER. Have the plans advanced sufficiently so as to work on the lock itself?
General CHORPENING. I do not consider that they have, sir. I think we should get additional funds so that we could complete the plans and specifications.
Senator ELLENDER. Would it be necessary to dig the channel?
General CHORPENING. Yes, sir. For the project the channel must be built, so that is an integral part of this project.
Senator ELLENDER. Would it be necessary for the channel to be dug in advance of the completion of the lock?
General CHORPENING. That is correct, sir. It is a part of the overall project.
LOCK AT PLAQUEMINE, LA,
Senator Long. I would like to point out that the existing project has a lock at Plaquemine, La., that was constructed somewhere around the turn of the century. The lock is not of adequate length. It is necessary to break up modern tows into 2 or 3 parts in order to put them through. There is so much traffic congestion that crews wait a day or more to go through. Most modern tows avoid it entirely The present channel from Plaquemine follows the old bed of Bayou Plaquemine which winds and twists back in the swamp to a point where a modern canal was constructed.