Page images

Army engineers be withdrawn in favor of smaller reservoirs as proposed by the people it will affect, Very truly yours,


President. IRWIN GEIS,

Treasurer. DORMAN C. BECKER,



Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN : Whereas the Central Kansas Cooperative Creamery Association acts as a marketing organization for all dairy and poultry farmers in this area, including the farmers affected by proposed Federal flood control project in the upper Cottonwood Valley.

And whereas such proposed flood-control project would not only take out of production more than 30 highly productive dairy and poultry farms, and would greatly reduce production on many other farms in the area, but would also disrupt long established milk, cream, and egg routes, as well as other regular farm-to-market routes.

Therefore, the board of directors of the Central Kansas Cooperative Creamery Association, on behalf of its more than 2,000 member shareholders, submits the following resolution:

"We respectfully urge that the proper authorities thoroughly investigate and study proposed plan for the construction of a number of small dams and ponds, as proposed in the alternate plan submitted by the farmers living in the upper Cottonwood Valley."

Above resolution was unanimously passed by the board of directors of this organization at their regular monthly meeting held January 30, 1948, at Hillsboro, Kans.

H. R. Nickel, President; Harrison Unruh, Vice President; Val. T.

Harms, Director; Irvin Kreutziger, Director; D. P. Kasper,
Secretary: 0. E. Harrison, Treasurer; Jacob H. Wiebe, Director;

Floyd R. Palmer, Director.
The undersigned hereby certifies that above resolution was unanimously
passed as stated above.


Marion County, 88: Be it remembered, That on this 16th day of February, A. D. 1948, before me, the undersigned, a notary public in and for the county and State aforesaid, came Harold Hansen who is personally known to me to be the same person who executed the within insetrument of writing, and such person duly acknowledged the execution of the same.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my notarial seal, the day and year last above written. [SEAL)

P. F. ROESEN, Notary Public. My term expires April 24, 1951.

(Eight petitions containing numerous signatures and objecting to the proposed Federal flood control reservoir project northwest of Marion, Kans., were submitted and are on file at the committee.) PROTEST IN


TRIBUTARIES, OKLAHOMA, KANSAS, MISSOURI, AND ARKANSAS This is a protest against the flood-control plan of the United States Army engineers as set forth in House Document No. 142 insofar as it relates to construction of the Cedar Point Dam. This protest is made by property owners directly affected by the construction of said dam.

[ocr errors]

An analysis of the plan and estimates of the Army engineers for construction of the Cedar Point Dam, with an indicated cost of $2,843,830 made on the basis of 1944 cost, will result in a minimum loss to the community of over $250,000 annually over and above any possible estimated benefits which can be allocated to the Cedar Point Reservoir as its proper pro rata proportion of the benefits estimated for the entire project.

Since an analysis of the four-dam project taken as a whole is before the committee, we desire to present a brief break-down of the estimates insofar as they relate to the Cedar Point Dam, in order that the committee be advised of the annual cost benefit relationship from this specific project: Total storage of 4 Kansas dams

acre-feet.- 604, 000 Total storage of Cedar Point Dam.

-----do-- 55, 200 Percentage of total of Cedar Point Dam--


9.1 Total flood-control storage of 4 Kansas dams..

-acre-feet.- 478, 200 Cedar Point flood-control storage-

-do-- 36, 200 Percentage of flood-control storage..

-percent- 7.5 In making a comparison of benefits, if we take the true benefit figure for the 4 Kansas dams of 604,000 acre-feet, then the percentage of total benefits properly to be allocated to the Cedar Point Dam on the basis of its total storage amounts to $63,042.42; while on the basis of its total flood-control capacity the proper proportion of benefits is $51,957.95.

Again, if we use the Army engineers' estimates of the total benefits related to the 4 Kansas dams, namely, $846,700 we find that the pro rata proportion of benefits properly to be allocated to the Cedar Point Dam on the basis of total storage amounts to $77,049.70, and on the basis of total flood control amounts to $63,502.

In making comparisons of the relationship of benefits to the annual cost charge, we will for the sake of illustration use the largest available amount as representing benefits obtained from the foregoing analysis, namely, $77,049.70: Net annual charges (table 27, p. 58).

$126, 420.00 Cedar Point proportion of benefits_

77, 049. 70

Excess of annual charge over benefits.--.

49, 370.30 The foregoing illustration clearly shows that the Cedar Point Dam is not economically" sound, and that the expenditure of $2,843,830 will according to the Army engineers' own estimates result in an excess of annual charges over annual benefits in the amount of approximately $50,000. The committee must bear in mind that this cost benefit ratio is based upon estimates of construction costs in 1944, and that the relationship would be still more unfavorable were present construction costs applied in order to obtain the annual charges.

It is felt, however, that the omission of the annual losses to the community from the loss in production resulting from flooding of the lands should be called to the attention of the committee. In 1946 the gross income from this area amounted to $166,977, and in 1947 it amounted to $243,670.99, or an average for the 2 years of $205,323. This annual loss of new wealth produced in the community is an item to be considered to the same extent as benefits. The one offsets the other. If this is done, and this average annual figure is added to the excess of annual charges over benefits we have the following: Excess of annual charges over benefits_.

$49, 370.30 Average annual production loss.-.

205, 323. 00

254, 693, 30 This analysis shows conclusively the waste of public funds that would result from the expenditure of an amount in all probability at least 25 percent in excess of the $2,843,000 shown in table 27 at page 58, and that this would produce annual charges and a detriment to the community in excess of a quarter of a million dollars above any benefits that could possibly be obtained from construction of the dam.

We respectfully submit that the construction of the Cedar Point Dam should not be approved. Respectfully submitted.

Mrs. Cora Griffith, Mrs. Nellie Clothier, John Griffith, W. R. Sayre,

Mrs. Frances Sauble, Mrs. Ora Scherer, Donald Dwelle, Anna and Nellie Ryan, J. C. Sauble, P. H. Sauble, Rebecca J. Sauble.

Mr. CoSGROVE. If the chairman please, I want to file a statement of Mr. James F. Meisner.

The CHAIRMAN. All right, sir, you have that privilege, and that statement will be inserted at this point in the record. (Statement submitted by Mr. Cosgrove follows:)

MARION, KANS., May 14, 1949. COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS, House of Representatives, United States,

Eighty-first Congress, Washington, D. C. GENTLEMEN : My name is James F. Meisner, age 48, a native-born Kansan, who has resided in Marion County at Marion, Kans., since 1931, with the exception of 13 months in 1939 and 1940. I am a licensed civil engineer in the State of Kansas, and have been county engineer of Marion County from the abovementioned date of 1931 to date.

I wish to call this committee's attention to certain statements contained in House Document No. 442 concerning the Grand (Neosho) River and its tributaries, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, for the purpose of encouraging your committee to defer action upon the report dated January 8, 1947, from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, concerning this watershed and cause a study to be made by proper authorities to consider the feasibility and practicability of accomplishing the same results, or perhaps an increase in results or benefits as anticipated by the Army engineers by a series of smaller reservoirs located on the smaller tributaries of the streams making up this watershed.

I will include in this discussion the report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, August 1947, "Neosho River Basin Plan.” This will be referred to hereinafter as the Kansas report.

Page 14, Kansas report, lines 10 to 19, states: "On the Cottonwood River the slope of the channel above Durham averages 10 feet per mile. It decreases rapidly to an average of only 2 feet per mile from Durham to its mouth. The channel of the Neosho River above the mouth of the Cottonwood River is considerably steeper than that of the latter stream, averaging 15 feet per mile in the upper reaches above Council Grove and 3 feet per mile from that city to the vicinity of Emporia. From the junction of the Cottonwood and Neosho River to the State line, the average slope of the river channel is 1.35 feet per mile.”

Page 22, House Document No. 442, lines 10 to 13 (speaking of run-off of the upper portion of the Neosho River) : “This part of the drainage area provides flashy flood flows on the main stem, which are decreased by valley storage in passing through the central portion of the valley."

In other words the floods are generated in the many small tributaries with steep channel slopes which cause the run-off to rush into the main channel from all sides until the mainstem reservoir with its low gradient cannot contain the water and overflow results. I beg you to consider if it would not be a wiser procedure to stop this onrushing of water in smaller quantities, on less fertile land, and control its flow there, than to allow it to errode these steep slopes and permanently flood the fertile river basin.

Page XII, House Document No. 442, lines 31 to 34. Gov. Andrew F. Schoeppel writes: “They emphasized the flood protection features, but more specially claimed that increased productivity of lands protected from flooding would cffset the loss of acreage in the reservoir basin.”

Evidently the Governor has never farmed on overflow bottom land. In the first place, greater losses are received from droughts than from floods. Seldom does a flood cause a total crop loss, and every overflow bottom farmer in the upper reaches will testify that productivity of a bottom farm is increased after each flood. If we count the loss from a flood, we must count the fertility gain.

Your attention is called to the comments of the State of Missouri, written by Gov. Phil M. Donnelly, pages 15 and 16. They differ sharply from those of the Kansas Governor which demonstrates that there is a great possibility of individual differences in opinion and while the integrity of both governors is above question, yet, their opinions are as far apart as the poles, and elsewhere in House Document No. 442, you will find the ratio of cost and benefit is practically the same between the Kansas reservoirs and the Missouri reservoir.

Page 10, House Document 442, lines 32 to 34: "The main stem and tributaries carry comparatively small amounts of sediment during flood periods.”

Page 28, House Document 442, table 17. Reports that 72.1 percent of the drainage area of the Neosho in Kansas is cultivated, 90.6 percent above Marion site. The Kansas report states the slope ranges from 15 feet per mile on down. Surely anyone familiar with soil behavior would suspect that there is considerable washing on such slopes. The residents of the area can testify to the sedimentation of the overflow water, they would testify that on the Cottonwood, at least, the flow appears sluggish at times with its heavy load of silt.

Page 44, House Document No. 442, lines 1 and 2: "Estimates of annual flood losses of $1 to $10 per acre were given." This infers, at least, that some loss of top soil was considered in the flood loss.

Page 85, Kansas report, appendix B, states in effect that 45,000 acre-feet of a total reservoir capacity of 694,000 acre-feet of reservoir is reserved for sedimentation. This shows some consideration given to the sedimentation carried by floodwaters, even though the report says they carry comparatively small amounts.

Page 23, House Document 542, lines 5 to 7, article 43: “During the period of record, no flood originating in the basin in Kansas has produced high stages in the lower reaches of the river unless Spring and Elk Rivers were also in flood."

Page 8, House Document No. 442, article 4 (Scope): "The purpose of this report is to present the results of an investigation of the Grand (Neosho) River Basin with a view to determining the economic justification of additional improvements for flood control and other purposes in the basin.”

Evidently the four reservoirs under consideration in this report then cannot be justified for flood protection in the lower reaches of the river. Elsewhere in this letter will be quotations from the Kansas report to show that these reservoirs will not produce flood protection to any large area in the upper reaches of the river.

Page 32, House Document 142, lines 1 to 3, article 64: "The proposed foodcontrol improvements discussed later therein would have a beneficial effect on flood heights in the Arkansas River Valley."

Page 43, House Document No. 442, lines 1 to 4, article 95: "It was stated that the construction of the desired improvements would prevent flood losses and would result in increased land values in the valley, and in the lowering of flood heights in the Arkansas and lower Mississippi River."

From a statement that this portion of the basin has produced no flood that produced high states in the lower reaches of the river to the statement that the proposed reservoirs would affect the flow of the lower Mississippi River. These two statements appear to be exact opposites. Which shall we believe?

Page 32, House Document 442, lines 10 to 11, article 65: "The value of property within thė flood plain has been depressed because of the hazard of frequent flooding."

I challenge anyone to prove this statement, at least within Marion County, Kans., for our most valuable land lies in the overflow and flooding area, because the benefits of sedimentation offset the crop and property damage due to floods over a period of years.

Is it a responsibility of the Federal Government to reimburse and protect individuals and businesses who are so short-sighted, that they will build their homes, businesses, and plants in a flood area. Common sense should caution such improvement in a flood area. If the improvement is made, then the ben. efits of the location must have outweighed the possible damage from flood.

Page 42, House Document 442, lines 4 to 6, article 92: "Sewage-treatment plants have been installed by a number of municipalities, but some of these are inadequate or inefficiently operated."

Shall we flood valuable farm lands and destroy the economy of whole communities rather than cause all municipalities to install adequate sewage-treatment plants and cause them to be efficiently operated?

Page 42, House Document 442, lines 6 to 8, article 93: "Farmers frequently have to haul water from the river until it is dry, then from the towns for their domestic and livestock needs during the summer."

Page 43, House Document 442, lines 7 to 8, article 95: "Raise the water table in the valley providing more water in farm wells."

Farm wells usually receive their water from a pervious strata that outcrops in the upper reaches of the water-bearing bed. The smaller dams and reservoirs situated in the very headwaters of the stream would more logically charge these water-bearing stratas than the larger reservoirs located in the more impervious valleys.

Also shall homes be destroyed, valuable farm lands flooded, many miles upstream to provide water to farmers and municipalities below, who are not prudent or farsighted enough to construct farm ponds on their own farms for stock water, and to construct municipal lakes within their own watershed to provide municipal water. Shall Federal Government provide such special benefits to some and require others to provide their own water supply?

Page 43, House Document No. 442, lines 10 to 12, article 97: "Some of those present blamed this on a recently constructed highway bridge that they claimed created a constriction in the channel capacity near the city."

Shall valuable bottom farms that produce the foodstuff for the world be sacrificed rather than demand that the highway department construct an adequate bridge at this site?

Page 43, House Document No. 442, lines 18 to 19, article 97: "Insure an additional water supply which was urgently needed by the city of Parsons."

Shall the bottom lands of Strawn, Cedar Point, Council Grove, and Marion be flooded to preserve the bottom lands near Parsons and save that city of Parsons the expense and inconvenience of providing their own water supply as other cities of Kansas have done?

Page 44, House Document No. 442, lines 12 to 16, article 98: “Local interests claimed that the construction of a dual purpose reservoir on Labette Creek above the city could provide more dependable supply and a better quality of water and reduce the expenditures for pumping and treating river water.”

Shall the Federal Government destroy communities and flood homesteads miles above the area of need of water to provide cheap water to certain cities and reduce their local expenses, when such benefits are denied to the majority of cities? Is this whole project being promoted and pushed to provide private benefits to individuals and public benefits to municipalities, benefits that are denied to other communities or municipalities? Shall the Federal Government destroy and cripple certain communities to provide benefits that can and should be provided locally in others?

Page 47, House Document No. 442, lines 23 to 27, article 109. "The bed rock under the valley floor consists of a stratum of shale fossiliferous limestone with some small cavities. The geological investigation indicates that the site is suitable for the low structures proposed and that any unfavorable condition can be corrected at a reasonable cost by proper foundation treatment" (Marion Reservoir).

Page 48, House Document 442, lines 22 to 27, article 110: "The abutment foundation limestones are of adequate strength to support the proposed structures but are porous in some instances, which indicates that grouting will be necessary. The geological investigation indicates that this unfavorable condition can be overcome at a reasonable cost by proper foundation treatment" (Cedar Point Reservoir).

We must interpret from these two statements that the cost of these two reservoirs may exceed the estimates submitted by the Corps of Engineers. Grouting and base treatment work at its best is expensive. Might not this additional possible cost swing the delicate balance of 1 to 1.04 in favor of the reservoirs to a balance against their economy, all other conditions being accepted? Might not reservoirs constructed on such unfavorable foundations be a constant hazard to the communities residing below the dam? Might not a reservoir behind a dam on such soil cause untold loss of life and general havoc for miles below if the unexpected but not impossible should happen, and the dam fail?

Page 61, House Document 442, lines 8 to 10, article 143: “Local interests primarily desire relief from the damages caused by these frequent minor and modtrate floods."

I call your attention to the fact that the residents in the four reservoirs desire relief from the permanent flooding of their lands by a man-made flood, and the residents in the economic area around these man-made floods desire relief from a complete readjustment of their economics of the area if these reservoirs are constructed. Local interests might also be those who are damaged as well as those who receive questionable benefits.

Would these "local interests" who clamor for the flooding of their neighbors be disappointed in their selfish zeal to save themselves?

Kansas report, page 44, effects of proposed reservoirs, lines 5 to 18. “During this interval (1900 to 1944) 50 floods have occurred on the Cottonwood River near its mouth. With the proposed Marion and Cedar Creek Reservoirs in operation, it has been estimated the number of floods would have been reduced to 33. On the upper Neosho River near Emporia, 50 damaging floods have been experienced within this 45-year period. If the Council Grove Reservoir had been operating,

92329–49 31

« PreviousContinue »