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Expect to execute contract after FY 1985. 2/ Contract execution not expected.
3/ Project to be pursued under Section 205 authority.
4/ Reconnaissance report shows best solution to problem is the authorized Sand Lake project, now classified as "Inactive". Consideration will be given to reclassification of project to "Active".
FY 1985 ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT APPROPRIATION ACT AND REPORTS:
(Dollar Amounts In Thousands)
Public Law 98-501 establishes a National Council on Public Works
A separate part of the act requires and annual report on budget
Mr. BEVILL. Last year's bill included funds for recreation development at five projects authorized prior to 1965 when recreation was a total Federal responsibility. Your February 1, 1985, letter to me indicates you are not proceeding with the work due to "changing Federal priorities and large deficits".
What is the Administration's rationale for not honoring the priorities of Congress as contained in the Appropriation Act?
Mr. DAWSON. In responding to your question, Mr. Chairman, there is of course a distinction between provisions that are found in an appropriation act and provisions that may be relevant to how funds are spent, but are not included in the act and are found in accompanying Committee reports. Provisions not included in the act, as you know, are not binding on the agency as a matter of law but provide very useful indications of Congressional intent.
The Army endeavors, in all respects, to fully and completely implement provisions of law and in this regard seriously considers all indicators of Congressional intent, whether the indication of intent be a statement of the full Congress found in law or a statement of one or more of the Committees found in a committee report.
When both the express provisions of the Energy and Water Development Appropriation Act, 1985, P.L. 98-360, and the accompanying Committee reports are considered, the Congress and its Committees provided for over 150 items not included in the President's FY 1985 budget. In 15 cases, the Congress provided funds for additional work in the actual provisions of the act itself. The Corps is proceeding with all of this work, except for one unusual case where it was determined that authorizing legislation was needed before the funds could be spent.
In the remaining cases where additional work or studies is advocated or addressed in Committee reports alone, the Corps is complying with such Committee desires in the great majority of cases. I am advised by the Corps of Engineers that in four out of every five cases that work is going forward without a hitch. Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, as you point out, we are not proceeding with additional recreation development at 100 percent Federal expense at five ongoing construction projects mentioned in the Conference Committee report. The Federal Government, through FY 1984, has spent $33 million for recreation facilities construction at full Federal expense at these projects. An additional $2 million was budgeted in FY 1985, and $4 million was
carried over from FY 1984 for use in FY 1985 for construction of recreation facilities. We feel that the additional $14 million provided for the five projects at full Federal expense in the Conference report is too important in its policy and budget implications, particularly in this time of large Federal deficits, to take action without further clarification of the full Congress in legislation.
I recognize that this is a particularly sensitive subject, Mr. Chairman. The Department of the Army's proposal that further recreation development be provided on a 50/50 cost sharing basis at projects like the five you mentioned has been subject of testimony presented to the Congress in connection with the FY 1983 and subsequent budgets; in FY 1984, we budgeted for some limited exceptions where commitments were involved to minimize adverse impacts on local interests. The proposal to provide further recreation on a 50/50 cost sharing basis, though not required at law, is consistent with OMB pronouncements on the matter going back to the early 1970's and with other Congressional pronouncements on cost sharing for recreation found in the Federal Water Project Recreation Act, P.L. 89-72, enacted in 1965.
Mr. BEVILL. It is not true that the longer construction is delayed on these projects, the larger the cost will be, thus contributing to the deficit? Mr. DAWSON. Yes, it is true, but only if the recreation facilities ultimately are constructed at 100 percent Federal expense.
As an example, in the case of one of the five projects, the Saylorville Lake Project in Iowa, the law authorizing the recreation development provides "for the full development of campground and other recreation sites and access thereto...at Federal cost."
Why are you not proceeding with the work as spelled out in the law?
Mr. DAWSON. During the past half century, which constitutes a high water mark of Federal involvement in water resource development, Congress authorized billions of dollars worth of water projects. While many billions have been appropriated to construct these projects, much work remains to be accomplished. A year ago, in connection with testimony on the FY 1985 budget, Mr. Chairman, the Corps reported that the scheduled balance to complete for all active authorized projects was $8.2 billion, while the unscheduled balance to complete for the active authorized projects was $16.7 billion. The $7 million required to complete recreation facilities at Saylorville, a project whose 1976 authorization for recreation does indeed provide for full Federal funding, is part of the $200 million backlog, nationwide, of unscheduled recreation facilities at ongoing construction projects. We believe all ongoing projects, regardless of their date of authorization, should proceed on a consistent basis as far as recreation is concerned. That basis should be P.L. 89-72, the Federal Water Project Act, which provides for 50/50 cost sharing. Because the amount of money involved is very large, $200 million, nationwide, we believe the terms on which recreation should proceed should be addressed by Congress in legislation.
Prior to adoption of this position regarding 50/50 cost sharing for recreation at ongoing projects, the Corps already had expended a substantial amount of money--about $12 million since 1976--for recreation development at the Saylorville project, excluding the current road construction that has been permitted to continue. It is my understanding that the resulting facilities satisfy current public demand for day use and camping, and appear adequate for several years in the future. To be sure, some may argue that because Saylorville currently enjoys significant use, further development at full Federal expense is desirable. However, given current economic conditions, the cost of additional recreation development at Saylorville should be financed jointly by Federal and non-Federal interests consistent with the cost sharing provisions of P.L. 89-72. We have followed the intent of the 1976 authorization, Mr. Chairman, requiring construction of recreation facilities at full Federal expense and have, based upon current use, completed that task.
And in the case of the New Melones Lake, which was athorized in 1962, the cost of recreation facilities was at that time estimated to be $500,000. At the time of initial construction funding, which was FY 1966, the cost of recreation was estimated to be $1 million. Today, the estimate is $45 million. Through the end of FY 1985, the Corps will have provided at full Federal expense rereation facilities costing $17 million. I believe it is not unreasonable to propose, given the large increases in cost of recreation facilities from the time of original authorization and the current large Federal deficits, that Congress review the terms on which additional recreation at ongoing projects should proceed.