« PreviousContinue »
gram operative. And we are proud to point out today that only four or five major reservoirs remain to be constructed. With them in place, the agriculture of our upper watershed will be stabilized forever, and the threat to the lives of our people will have been permanently removed. So I bring to you an expression of deep gratitude from the residents of our valley.
Frenchman-Cambridge.-It has been heartening to us to note that the Bureau of the Budget has approved a rather substantial allocation of funds with which to continue the work on he Frenchman-Cambridge Irrigation Dis ict. The sums recommended total $5,439,000, including those which are earmarked for the inauguration of construction of Red Willow Dam and Reservoir, and canal, totaling $2,910,747. May I stress once again that this Red Willow Creek is one of the most frequent flood offenders in our whole basin, and the main body of lands in the Frenchman-Cambridge District lies right in the path of any foods which might come sweeping down that stream. We do earnestly hope, therefore, that your committee will approve this level of funds, for it will make possible a reasonably prompt beginning on this extremely important project. Any serious delay in construction would threaten the entire investment in the great irrigation project below the confluence of the Red Willow and the Republican streams.
Almena project.-We are likewise extremely eager to see a beginning made on this project, at a damsite adjoining the town of Norton, Kans. While the major features would be located in Kansas, flood protection would be afforded to some Nebraska areas, and the undue sedimentation in the Harlan County Reservoir would be immediately reduced. This project has three great features commending it to our people. First, it would relieve them of the perennial flood threat which they have experienced over a long period of years. Even though the stream carries only a modest annual runoff, I understand that $8,500,000 of the cost of this unit has been assigned to flood control. This alone reveals the damaging character of high water periods in that river. Second, we do have need for supplemental irrigation water almost every fall, in spite of the fact that the spring and summer months may witness flood periods. So the storage of this floodwater, which can subsequently be employed for irrigation purposes, will help to stabilize for all time the agriculture of that area. Third, this project will furnish a municipal water supply for the town of Norton. We believe that this is rated as the highest of all priorities on the water uses from western streams, so we do hope that it will have the sympathetic attention of your committee, to the end that the $1 million of initial construction money, which has been approved by the Bureau of the Budget, will be appropriated. We have been told that the people of the area already have organized an irrigation district. Meanwhile, the city of Norton has already taken the necessary legal steps to guarantee the purchase of water from the reservoir for human consumption.
Underfinancing. We are concerned, gentlemen, over the device initiated by the Bureau of the Budget whereby underfinancing frequently occurs on certain projects. We go along entirely with the philosophy that it is futile for the Bureau of Reclamation to keep idle funds on hand in excess of those moneys which they can expend during any fiscal year. And yet it would be a tragedy if, on Almena project, for instance, the residents of that area were subjected to underfinancing, when the initial allocation of funds is so modest. To prevent a slowdown in construction on any project, which would increase the unit cost, or delay the completion of the project, might it not be possible to limit the underfinancing to 5 percent of the approved appropriation, so that there would be little danger of interference with the schedule of approved work? If some plausible method can be found to prevent damaging delays in work schedules, it would prove reassuring to the residents of the 17 Western States.
Investigational fund8.—Here again, we are led to believe that the funds set up for the Missouri Basin, covering advance planning and general investigations, totaling $2 million, is adequate. We do earnestly feel, however, Mr. Chairman, that in our area, these two types of activity should be maintained at the highest practical level. After all, the Federal Government has made a very substantial investment in areas like ours, where the program of work is well along, and every delay impairs the usefulness of existing projects. We do respectfully urge, therefore, that barring some reason not known to us, this $2 million be approved for the fiscal year 1961.
Recreational benefits.-One of the unexpected byproducts of the multiplepurpose projects which have been built in our valley has been the immense stimulation of recreational activities. Up until 1950 there was no fresh water
lake, nor extensive section of our rivers, where year-round fish life could be sustained. Wildlife has deserted the area. The closest boating, swimming, or acquatic activities of any kind were in the Platte River to the north of us, or out in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. But today recreation is a very great factor in the economy of southwestern Nebraska and contiguous areas in Colorado and Kansas. The reservoir sites have proven a great attraction for tens of thousands of people. It has meant the sale of boats, of lumber and supplies for construction of cabins, and has meant the sale of fishing tackle, of hunting equipment, and various other products employed in recreational pursuits. This has not only strengthened the real estate values of our area, and provided further job opportunities, but has brought great sociological benefits to our people.
We understand, however, that full development and improvement of these recreational areas is now a difficult problem because the Bureau of Reclamation has been limited in the expenditures which it can make to those required for minimum facilities needed to protect the health and safety of the visting public, unless it can be shown that the additional facilities are of national signifi
We respectfully suggest that some thoroughgoing study be made, perhaps under the auspices of your committee, to see if the public interest might not justify enactment of legislation which would give a little wider latitude of action to the Bureau of Reclamation in its improvement of reservoir sites on a nonreimbursable basis. I believe that a thorough study would reveal that the people of these areas would be willing to set up some new political subdivision. similar to our irrigation and soil conservation districts, where the local interests could carry on, once the minimum improvements have been made, to take full advantage of the recreational opportunities in the vicinity of the reservoir. At the moment, under existing legislation, there is a rather long period when the development of these recreational projects is impossible for want of just a little capital and statutory authority. I suggest that it would be appropriate to eren allocate, on a nonreimbursable basis, a portion of the cost of the reservoir and other joint works, to enable the recreational benefits to be created.
Once again, gentlemen, speaking for our group in southwestern Nebraska, and adjoining sections of Kansas and Colorado, may I express our deep gratitude for your generosity in permitting our construction program to move along as fast as it has.
Mr. Ryan. May I file these two newspaper clippings—although, of course, not for reproduction that show that all the dams are full but there has been no flooding in our area because this network of structures does hold the water which in past years has meant repeated floods?
Mr. JENSEN. Mr. Chairman, when the gentleman talks about the flood many years ago which cost the lives of 117 people, it brings back memories to me. Carl Curtis, your predecessor, said, “I wish you would come out and see with your own eyes just what our problem is.'
I did that, along with a couple other Congressmen. We made up our minds at that time that something had to be done in a big way for that great area to make sure that a repetition of those damaging floods would not occur again. So we who went out there and saw with our own eyes came back to the committee and told them the story. I am quite proud of the fact that I played a part in seeing to it that that great area was protected from those devastating floods.
I am glad that you come before the committee and we are always pleased to see our colleague, Phil Weaver, come before this subcommittee, being a member of the full Appropriations Committee of the House. I can assure you he looks after Nebraska very well.
Mr. RABAUT. He is on my Subcommittee for the District of Columbia, too.
Mr. JENSEN. He always does a great job. We have the highest regard for him. You need not worry but what the State of Nebraska will get their just dues so long as Phil Weaver is on the job.
Mr. W'EAVER. Thank you, Mr. Jensen. Mr. ANDERSEN. I cannot let this opportunity go by without paying tribute to Mr. Weaver. He has done a splendid job in following up what Senator Curtis started, which was to make it impossible for a recurrence of that Republican River disaster of years gone by. We are glad to see you here with us today, Phil. No congressional district has ever had a better Representative in presenting the interests of his people.
Nr. WEAVER. Thank you. I appreciate the comments of all you gentlemen.
Mr. Pillion. Mr. Chairman, I would like to say the State of Nebraska is most capably represented in the distinguished Congress
His statements will carry a great deal of weight. Mr. W'EAVER. I thank you, Mr. Pillion.
MONDAY, APRIL 4, 1960.
DENISON DAM AND RESERVOIR (LAKE TEXOMA)
HON. CARL ALBERT, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF OKLAHOMA JOHN W. HOLTON, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE SPEAKER
OF THE HOUSE THOMAS S. MILLER, PRESIDENT, LAKE TEXOMA ASSOCIATION RECTOR SWEARENGIN, DURANT, OKLA.
Mr. ALBERT. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, John Holton, assistant to the Speaker, and I are here representing our districts, and we have with us two constituents. They are Rector Swearengin of Durant, Okla., and Thomas S. Miller of Denison, Tex., who will be presented by Mr. Holton.
These gentlemen are here on behalf of the continued recreational development of the great lake in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas known as Lake Texoma. That lake has enjoyed the reputation over a period of several years of attracting more visitors than any other Federal project in the United States.
These gentlemen are thoroughly familiar with it and will give you the detail with respect to the matter with regard to which they are appearing. John, do you have a word?
Mr. HOLTON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, with your permission, I would like to introduce to you Mr. Tom Miller of Denison, Tex. Mr. Miller will represent the Lake Texoma Association. He has a statement prepared for you on a subject that is very dear to the hearts of people in Texas and Oklahoma and surrounding areas. I am honored to present him at this time.
Mr. RABAUT. All right, Mr. Miller, you may proceed. Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, your committee has been sent, in advance, copies of this statement, but I should like to present them to you if you would like to have them.
Our statement is a brief one. Lake Texoma in the past 15 years has enjoyed the visitation of some 70 million people. This is despite
the fact that our recreational facilities are at present very primitive, both from the public and the private development standpoints. This committee has seen fit in the past to make available to the Corps of Engineers certain money for the development of public-use facilities on Lake Texoma. These appropriations have been well spent. I believe the Corps of Engineers have made good use of those moneys that they do have.
However, the scope of our project down there is such that the money that is coming to the corps at the present time, at the rate last year of $150,000—this year the budgeted amount is $135,000—is
not sufficient to take care of the needs that we have on Lake Texoma. I wish you gentlemen could visit our lake during one of the many very busy spring and summer weekends and observe the confusion, the litter, the lack of safety in effect at Lake Texoma, because primarily of the fact that we have so very, very many visitors, running at the rate of 7 million a year, and very little in the way of public-use facilities for them.
That concludes my statement at this time. We are asking that, rather than $135,000, that $500,000 be appropriated for the coming
(Mr. Miller's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR A $500,000 APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC
USE FACILITIES ON THE DENISON DAM AND RESERVOIR (LAKE TEXOMA) ON RED RIVER, IN OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS
Submitted by the Lake Texoma Association, Oklahoma and Texas Mr. Chairman, we represent the Lake Texoma Association, which is made up of citizens of north Texas and southern Oklahoma in the area surrounding Lake Texoma. Our group's purpose is to help develop the Lake Texoma area as a recreational and industrial center. We have appeared before this committee in previous years and your cooperation in furthering our efforts has been appreciated.
The large demand for recreational use of Lake Texoma has been demonstrated by the tremendous number of visitors in the past-well over 70 million in all. This is true despite the comparative lack of both public and private develop ment of the lake area; development is being made, but slowly and fitfully. In the meantime, public-use areas are crowded, roads leading to and between public-use areas are poor and insufficient, sanitation is primitive, and good drinking water is practically unavailable.
At our suggestion, and in accordance with instructions from the Chief of Engineers, our own Tulsa district of the Corps of Engineers has developed a master plan for future Federal development of public use facilities at Texoma. We have consulted with the Tulsa district and have examined an early draft of this plan. In our opinion the improvements included in this plan are essential to full realization of the tourist potential of Texoma, and should be achieved with minimum delay. Fulfilment of the projects included in the master plan is to cost over $3 million, yet last year's appropriation was a comparative trickle of $150,000. At that rate, completion of the master plan would take almost 25 years; this seems to us an avoidable waste of the Southwest's largest vacation and recreation asset.
Let us note at this point that the Corps of Engineers has made excellent use of what money has been made available to it through earlier appropriations, and that the public is in turn making full use of the facilities now available.
We understand that probably the master plan as mentioned above will be in final form with approval at all levels by early in the forthcoming fiscal year. Thus, in order to avoid all possible delay in making the plans' benefits available to the public, we respectfully urge your committee to recommend the appropriation of $500,000 for use in the fiscal year 1961 as the first step in carrying out the improvements so seriously needed. Respectfully submitted.
THOMAS S. MILLER, President, Lake Texoma Association.
Mr. RABAUT. All right; thank you very much.
Mr. RABAUT. Do you approve of everything which Mr. Miller has said?
Mr. SWEARENGIN. I certainly do. It is something to have a lake like that between Oklahoma and Texas. It serves 7 million people per year. We certainly appreciate your consideration and invite you down to see it.
Mr. ANDERSEN. I might say, Mr. Chairman, we are doubly glad to see these gentlemen, as long as they are accompanied by the gentleman, Mr. Albert, for whom we have much respect. He is an able congressional leader and a fine Representative for his people.
Mr. JENSEN. And the able assistant of Speaker Rayburn. Between Texas and Oklahoma and between the whip of the House and the Speaker of the House, Texas and Oklahoma should get along very well and I am sure they will with this committee.
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, sir. Mr. SWEARENGIN. We do at home. Mr. RABAUT. Do you want to say anything more, Mr. Albert ? Mr. ALBERT. No; except I will appreciate, and the Speaker will also, any consideration, and we know this committee will give it due consideration. Mr. ANDERSEN. Off the record. (Discussion off the record.) Mr. RABAUT. The committee stands adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 1960.
ARKANSAS RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES
HON. ROBERT S. KERR, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF
OKLAHOMA HON. A. S. MIKE MONRONEY, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF
OKLAHOMA HON. JOHN L. MCCLELLAN, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF
ARKANSAS HON. J. W. FULBRIGHT, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF
ARKANSAS HON. W. F. NORRELL, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS HON. JAMES W. TRIMBLE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS HON. WILBUR MILLS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS HON. E. C. GATHINGS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ARKANSAS HON. TOM STEED, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF OKLAHOMA HON. DALE ALFORD, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ARKANSAS