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Stowe, chairman of the Milford town council, and Mr. John J. Desmond, town manager, have filed with the committee a letter expressing this support. I request that their letter be included in the record of this hearing.
Senator ROBERTSON. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The letter referred to follows:)
FEBRUARY 20. 1934. Hon. STYLES BRIDGES, Chairman, Subcommittee on Army Civil Functions,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. DEAR SENATOR BRIDGES : On behalf of the town of Milford, Conn., we urge that an appropriation be made for the project for dredging of the Housatonic River in Connecticut.
The project is one of outstanding benefits for the State of Connecticut as well as to the immediate area in which it is located. It ties in closely with the desperate need for a shore erosion program such as is now being given consideration before your honorable body in the form of Senate bill No. 2676. The dredged material could be beneficially deposited along the adjacent shore fronts and thereby accomplish two important functions, namely, the dredging of the Housatonic and aiding the correction of a portion of the shore erosion problem.
Industrially the dredging of the Housatonic is of vital importance. The town of Milford's industrial development commission has been working closely with the State industrial development commission in its effort to bring good industry into this area and the dredging project would give our program a tremendous impetus.
The Connecticut Light & Power Co. located in the Devon Channel, estimates a savings of some 50 cents per ton of coal used by them, which they estimate by 1962 will be some million tons per year. The savings would be passed directly to the consumers they service, thus benefiting a wide area throughout the State of Connecticut. It is our understanding also that the Connecticut Light and Power Co. is willing to make a substantial contribution to this project, as required under the act approved by the 70th Congress. Your support of this project is earnestly requested. Very truly yours,
JOHN J. DESMOND,
Town manager. Senator ROBERTSON. The committee has also received a letter from Herbert R. Elker, clerk of the committee on cities and boroughs concerning the need for funds for dredging the Housatonic River. That letter will be placed in the record at this point:
COMMITTEE ON CITIES AND BOROUGHS,
Milford, Conn., February 22, 1954.
Room F39, Senate Wing, The Capitol, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. SENATOR: Connecticut's two Senators, as well as officers of that State have no doubt voiced their support of the appropriation bill for the Housatonie river dredging, and will advise your committee of their reasons for supporting this measure.
As a resident of Milford, one of the towns bordering on the lower Housatonic, and a representative of that town in Connecticut's General Assembly, I urse you and the subcommittee to give your consideration to the favorable reporting of this bill. This, the second river of our State has, it seems to many of us, nerer been developed to its fullest potential. For national defense as well as increased and less costly industrial development, this appropriation would be a great investment. Yours very sincerely,
HERBERT R. ELKER,
FOLLY BROOK PROJECT
Senator Bush. With your permission, I will leave that project and speak of another one. There are also gentlemen here from Connecticut in connection with the Folly Brook project, but I would like to read this very brief statement, Mr. Chairman.
The second appropriation which I urge you to approve is in the amount of $25,000, and also has been recommended in the President's budget. It would permit planning in the next fiscal year for the Folly Brook project, the missing link in the chain of flood protection for the Hartford, Conn. area. That area, as you know, contains many vital industries and in the past has experienced floods which have taken a heavy toll in lives and property.
The Folly Brook project, authorized in the Flood Control Act of 1950, Public Law 516, 81st Congress, 2d session, consists of approximately 1,900 linear feet of pressure conduit and 700 feet of earth dike, at an estimated cost of $239,000. It would protect an area in which there are almost 500 homes, and a number of business establishments which would be exposed to damage by another large flood. The project is needed to remedy a situation which is unhealthy, unsanitary and dangerous to the children of the neighborhood.
The $25,000 appropriation being requested at the present time would provide planning funds for this necessary and desirable project.
Mr. Charles W. Cooke, director of public works, Hartford, Conn., who has been down here before, is here again today, and State Senator Joseph A. Bonaquisto, of the Third State Senatorial District, is also here this morning to testify. I am confident that the committee will give them the same friendly audience that they received last year. I know that the committee regretted that it was impossible to include the requested appropriation last year. Now that it has been approved by the Budget Bureau and has the endorsement of the President in his budget message, I am very hopeful that the committee will give the appropriation its approval.
Senator ROBERTSON. Of course, that makes it a little easier for the committee.
Senator Bush. Thank you, sir.
Senator ROBERTSON. Do you recall the estimate of the ratio of benefits to cost on this flood-control project, General Chorpening?
General CHORPENING. 5.6 to 1, a very favorable cost-benefit ratio.
BRIDGEPORT HARBOR SURVEY
Senator Bush. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I will switch to another very brief subject, and ask your support for a third appropriation.
Senator ROBERTSON. Which is not in the budget.
The third appropriation for which I ask your support is included in the "General investigations" fund of the civil functions budget. It is an item of $6,900 for the completion of the survey of Bridgeport
Harbor, which was begun in 1949 and is now 40 percent completed. I ask permission to file for the record the attached
statement from Mr. W. Dudley Jewell, executive vice president of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, which more fully explains the need for the requested appropriation. Senator ROBERTSON. Without objection, it may be done. (The statement referred to follows:)
Bridgeport, Conn., February 12, 1954.
"General investigations” fund of the civil functions appropriation bill. The Bridgeport Harbor plays a large and important part in the economic welfare of Connecticut. It is the fifth ranking port in New England and the second in Connecticut. It serves an area tributary to Bridgeport comprising about 760 square miles with a population of about 300,000. Of this population, one-half is located in Bridgeport and the remainder in about 21 cities and towns so situated that they are economically served from Bridgeport.
The first appropriation by Congress for work in the Bridgeport Harbor was made in 1836 when $10,000 was appropriated for improving the entrance to the harbor. Since that time the Federal Government has spent approximately $2,900,000 to bring the harbor to its present status. Of this amount approximately $700,000 represents expenditures for maintenance.
We bave in Bridgeport the largest single petroleum storage in New England. The soundness of the Federal investinent in Bridgeport Harbor is reflected in the fact that since the deepening of our channel was completed in February 1948 to allow T-2 tankers access to our port a savings of more than $1 million annually has been enjoyed by petroleum consumers.
The resurvey of the harbor was ordered by the Congress in early 1949 and was 40 percent completed when we were advised that no moneys could be used for its completion. More than 2 years have elapsed since the survey project was suspended. We are hopeful that your committee will give favorable consideration to the request for funds so that our resurvey, which is urgently needed, may be completed. Sincerely yours,
W. DUDLEY JEWELL, Executive Vice President.
Senator ROBERTSON. Do I understand you wish to emphasize to the Engineers the importance that this work be done out of a general appropriation which they can use at their discretion ?
Senator Bush. Yes, sir.
General CHORPENING. That is correct, sir. And in our tentative proposals for the utilization of general investigation funds we have set up $6,900 for this survey that Senator Bush has mentioned.
Senator ROBERTSON. It looks as though you are in a rather favorable position on all three projects.
Senator Bush. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ash CREEK JETTY
Senator Bush. The fourth and final appropriation for which I request your approval this morning is in the amount of $14.666.66, and, as I have stated, is necessary to discharge a moral obligation of the United States.
Because the appropriation does not now appear in the budget, it would be necessary, if your committee approves, to increase the item for general construction by the required amount.
The funds are needed in order that the Corps of Engineers may reimburse the State of Connecticut and the town of Fairfield, Conn., for one-third of the cost of construction of the Ash Creek jetty.
The project, urgently needed as a beach erosion control measure, was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of May 17, 1950, in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers as contained in House Document 454, 81st Congress. Although the authorization provided for Federal participation in the amount of one-third of the construction cost of the project, the 81st and 82d Congresses did not provide the funds. Damage to the shore area from storms and flooding had been so severe that the State and town found it impossible to delay construction of the jetty. They proceeded jointly, therefore, to build the Ash Creek jetty in accordance with the authorized plan. The construction cost of $14,000 was borne in equal shares by the town and State.
OBLIGATION OF GOVERNMENT
It would seem that the Federal Government is morally obligated to fulfill the implied promise made when the project was authorized in 1950, namely, to reimburse the town and State to the extent of onethird of the cost. The requested appropriation would make it possible for the Corps of Engineers to discharge that moral obligation, and I sincerely hope that it will receive your approval.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for a courteous hearing. Senator ROBERTSON. We are glad to have had you before us.
Senator Purtell has not arrived yet, so will you proceed with your witnesses in the order in which you would like for them to appear?
Senator Bush. Which project are you taking up first?
Senator Bush. The order in which I presented them would be Judge Weldon and Mr. Stacy.
Senator ROBERTSON. We will hear the judge. Give your full name to the reporter, please.
HOUSATONIC RIVER CHANNEL
STATEMENT OF RICHARD L. WELDON, STRATFORD, CONN., REPRE
SENTING THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF STRATFORD AND THE STRATFORD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Mr. WELDON. My name is Richard L. Weldon. I live at 200 Housatonic Avenue, Stratford, Conn. I appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the opportunity of appearing before this honorable committee. I stand here representing our town council composed of 10 people elected by the people, and also our Stratford Chamber of Commerce.
The Housatonic River in Stratford, in days gone by, was a famous port for oystering and fishing. A few of those who engaged in this business are still alive. Inquiry was made by me of these men, whose
ages run from 70 to their early 80's, and all of these men thoroughly familiar with the river and its condition for the last 75
I am reliably informed by all of them that the Housatonic River in Stratford has never been dredged, save for the maintenance variety. Or, to put it another way, the river is exactly as nature made it save as it has been changed through shoaling and the dredging done by the Government in an effort to maintain a small 100-foot channel at a 7-foot depth at mean low water.
The erosion of our Connecticut shores has become a serious problem. The Congress of the United States recognized this back in 1945 when bill H. R. 2032 was passed providing for a general investigation of erosion with a view of preventing erosion of the shores of the United States by waves and currents to the end that the most suitable methods for the protection, restoration, and development of the beaches be ascertained and this information passed on to the various States.
It is common knowledge that the shores of our entire eastern seaboard, including my own town of Stratford, have been seriously affected by this erosion.
I am not so naive to believe that no individuals or corporations will benefit by this proposed dredging. However, I am mindful, upon reliable information given to me by the Connecticut Light & Power Co., and which our good Senator Prescott Bush has referred to, that if the river is dredged as proposed it will result in tremendous savings to my fellow Connecticut residents.
We in Stratford have two important, entirely town-owned beaches for the public, and one of these is immediately adjacent to the channel in question. I asked our town engineers to measure the distances before I came here, and possibly the Army engineers have those figures. Our short beach at one point is only 700 feet from the proposed channel, and at another point it is 2,000 feet from the channel. And, as I understand it, to pump sand it has to be within a sound economic distance, and such is the fact.
Now, I am not here representing the town of Milford, but I do want to supplement the statements that have been left here with your committee, that they have a very large stretch of what remains of what was once a beautiful beach, and by the dredging of our channel, making this river navigable for larger vessels and possible development of our river for commercial purposes, the town of Milford, as well as the town of Stratford, will benefit by this sand that can be pumped from the channel onto the shore.
VALUE OF RIVER DREDGING
I am mindful that it is not the Federal Government's responsibility to prevent erosion. I think it fair to state, as a general proposition, that our Nation is concerned with the shores of all our States as well as Connecticut because the cost of restoring the beaches to the communities and States involved has been so prohibitive, and the dredging of this Housatonic River will serve a very useful purpose in that it will restore to Stratford and the people living in that general vicinity the public beaches, one of which is no longer usable. I might add, too,