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JULY 19, 1962. MR. EUGENE D. BOTTs, President, San Antonio Land Owners Association, Bradley, Calif.
DEAR MR. BOTTS : This is in reply to your letter of July 17, 1962, in which you expressed your opposition to H.R. 12081, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Army to convey certain lands and easement interests at Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation for construc ion of the San Antonio Dam and Reservoir project in exchange for other property.
This bill has not been scheduled for consideration, but on June 13, 1962, the Secretary of Defense was requested to furnish his views on the proposal to the committee.
You may rest assured that if hearings are scheduled on this legislation, your views will be given careful consideration. Sincerely,
CARL VINSON, Chairman.
AUGUST 1, 1962. Hon. CARL VINSON, Chairman, Armed Services Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN VINSON: The following comments are presented to clarify statements and answer questions posed by the letter of the San Antonio Land Owners Association of July 7, 1962, concerning H.R. 12081, authorizing the Secretary of the Army to convey certain lands, easements, and interests at HunterLiggett Military Reservation for construction of San Antonio Dam and Reservoir project in exchange for other property.
MASTER PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT
Water conditions in Monterey County and in the Salinas Valley particularly, have been under investigation by State, Federal and local authorities since 1916. The district has continually studied and is now studying the ever-increasing demands for water in Monterey County. Detailed plans for conserving flood waste waters and putting them to beneficial use will be developed first, as exemplified by the construction of the Nacimiento Dam project. It has been determined that enough floodwater is available to supply foreseeable needs of the county, if means of conserving these waters are developed.
SELECTION OF PLEYTO B DAMSITE ON THE SAN ANTONIO RIVER
Various damsites in the Salinas River Basin have been under investigation since 1933 by the State water resources department, consulting engineers of the district, and the district itself. All conclude that the Pleyto B damsite is the most economical and will provide the greatest benefit. The letter quotes Bul. letin No. 3 of the State department of water resources and suggests the Gov. ernment should build a reservoir at the Milpitas B site as mentioned in said bulletin. On page 77 of the May 1957 issue of Bulletin No. 3, it is shown that for a gross storage capacity of 175,000 acre-feet, the capital cost would be $8,139,000. For the Pleyto B site (selected for construction) it shows that for a gross storage capacity of 200,000 acre-feet, 25,000 acre-feet more, the capital cost would be $4,667,000, or approximately half. These cost estimates include right-of-way acquisition. The costs quoted are of necessity preliminary estimates and based on construction costs several years old. However, the comparative costs would remain the same.
It should also be pointed out that the average annual flow at the Milpitas B site is approximately half of that of the Pleyto B site, and the flood flow would also be about one-half. It should be noted that the drainage area of Milpitas B is 80 versus 328 square miles of drainage area for Pleyto B, which would leave an additional 248-square-mile runoff area uncontrolled, if Milpitas B were built.
RIGHT OF WAY
An appraisal line, containing 8.260 acres of privately owned property, was established for cost estimating purposes only. No definite “take line” has been established. The following factors were considered in establishing the tentative appraisal line: High water line of the reservoir, property lines, section lines, isolated parcels, room for reasonable access to district property, length of fence lines, and areas that would be topographically suitable to be integrated into a tentative recreational plan.
Right-of-way costs cannot be completely estimated until a definite “take line" is established. When the "take line" is established and property within that line is acquired, the owners will receive the fair market value for their land. Within the 8,260 acres in the appraisal area, there are three dwellings being inhabited.
The letter states that 8,260 acres of "active farmland" will be lost. Only 1,670 acres are being dry farmed, barley and hay being the principal crops. The remainder is used for grazing which, on the average, supports one head of cattle for each 30 acres. The average appraisal value of private land within the appraisal line is $75 per acre; while the Salinas Valley, the land to be benefited by the construction of the dam, has farmland valued from $1,000 to $4.000 per acre. There is no significant difference in the general terrain, topography, soil, or climate that would affect the agriculture potential of the Pleyto B and Milpitas B damsites.
The letter mentioned the county has 390,000 acres of State and Federal parks for public recreation. Most of this land is in Los Padres National Forest and, due to terrain, is inaccessible. None of the rivers and streams in the aforementioned public lands is conducive to water recreation, except for limited tishing and swimming. Most of the streams do not flow in the summer (dry season) and/or are too shallow and swift for boating and other aquatic sports. With the exception of Nacimiento Lake, no other fresh water lake exists in Monterey County, or in this vicinity of California.
The Legislature of the State of California has enacted into law a bill authorizing a grant by the department of water resources of $3,820,000 for statewide recreational benefits to be derived by construction of the San Antonio Dam. The department of water resources has indicated in their opinion that the project is well suited for recreational use.
A minimum pool will be provided in the reservoir so that at all times an area of 800 acres of water will be available for recreational use. The depth of water at the dam at minimum pool level is 62 feet. Moreover, studies indicate that in the operation of the San Antonio Reservoir that a lake will be available 50 percent of the time which has a surface area of 3,200 acres with depth of water at the dam of 135 feet.
The district has not adopted a recreation development plan for the reservoir. A tentative, ultimate plan was delineated in the district's application to acquire lands from the Federal Government. A plan will be submitted at a later date to the recreation advisory commission and the water advisory commission for their recommendation to the board of supervisors.
The district now owns about 12,500 acres of land at the Nacimiento Dam and Reservoir site. Of this total, 4,100 acres are below the high water line and, in addition, approximately 2,500 acres is a portion of the former Janeway Ranch which does not border on the lake and is not conducive to recreational development. About 400 acres of this land is considered prime recreational land. The district is offering to interested individuals or firms an opportunity to submit proposals for derelopment of the Nacimiento recreational area in conjunction with long-term leases. It is believed that after these concession leases are granted, the area will be self-sustaining.
The assessed value of the land within the appraisal area is estimated at $55,500. Of this amount $5,500 is in the Pleyto School District and is about 2 percent of the total assessed value of $233,000 for the district. The balance of $50,000 in the appraisal area is in the San Antonio School District and is about 5 percent of its total assessed value of $960,000.
All recreational improvements by leases that will be "built on" district property will be subject to tax. It is estimated that $5 to $8 millions of improvements will be made by the lessees, resulting in an increase in assessed valuation of $1.5 to $2.4 million.
NEED FOR WATER IN THE SALINAS VALLEY
Salt water intrusion in the Castroville area has contaminated wells supplied by the 180-foot aquifer that were supplying water for approximately 7,000 acres of highly productive lands growing artichokes and a variety of row crops. Farmers in this area have had to abandon their wells in the 180-foot aquifer and drill other wells to tap the 400 foot acquifer. One 400-foot aquifer well has already been abandoned because of salt water intrusion. Measurements show that other wells in this aquifer are in immediate danger of being contaminated. This intrusion of salt water from the ocean is a direct result of pumping. A greater supply of water is required to meet the current demands.
All water for irrigation, domestic, municipal, and industrial use is supplied by wells tapping the underground basin of the Salinas Valley. Water levels have been declining steadily since irrigation was first practiced in the valley. Supplemental water is needed to maintain the present economy of the valley. Very truly yours,
LORAN BUNTE, Jr., District Engineer. Mr. PHILBIN. Do you have any further comment to make on the statement ?
Mr. BUNTE. I think I have answered most of the questions.
Mr. PHILBIN. Do you have anything by way of answering the last two paragraphs that were read!
Mr. BUNTE. Just that as we pointed out, the damsite, the other damsite at the upper end, of course, would not meet our needs.
We are financing this entirely with local funds, with no Federal or State aid, except for the recreational grant. Access to the recreational area will be free, but a charge will be made for facility such as campgrounds.
Mr. PHILBIN. You have plans for and every intention of making adequate and just compensation at that time to the persons whose lands may be taken?
Mr. BUNTE. Yes, sir. Mr. NORBLAD. You have to under the laws of California. Mr. BUNTE. Yes, sir. Mr. DOYLE. You referred to the exception on the recreational grant. How much does that amount to and where did it come from?
Mr. BUNTE. The provisions of the California bond issue passed by the voters of California ; recently they set aside $130 million under the provisions of the act to be used for recreational purposes of statewide benefit and we received authorization from the State legislature for a grant of $3,820,000 out of this fund.
Mr. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, in view of the mention in pargraph 2 on page 6, the last four lines thereof, of the statement of Mr. Deaver, for the public record, and for the benefit of what actually did happen here today, I would like to call attention to the act that the suggested amendment which was suggested as a possibility has been withdrawn, so that the taxpayers of Monterey County need have no fear, so far as this record is concerned, that there is being left open an open-end obligation on the part of the taxpayers of Monterey County to meet.
Mr. Pulbin. What is your answer to that?
Mr. DOYLE. I make that observation, that the taxpayers of the county, so far as this hearing is concerned, are protected against any open-end obligation arising. Mr. Puulbin. Any further questions? Mr. Wickersham.
Mr. WICKERSHAM. Mr. Chairman, these men have made a very good presentation. I don't know them, but I do know their counsel, Jess Larson. All of you know him—very eminent attorney, formerly the youngest mayor in the whole country-years ago one of the outstanding National Guard leaders of the State of Oklahoma, and former secretary of our School Commission. I knew him when I was chief clerk of the Board of Affairs. And he was former General Services Administrator for the whole United States, and in my opinion the best Government administrator that we have ever had in any Department, and I would like to have him state his opinions on this.
Mr. Doyle. You wouldn't expect him to deny that? [Laughter.]
Mr. Phillin. If there is no further testimony, we will adjourn the hearings and go into executive session to consider the bill.
We thank you gentlemen for your very fine and comprehensive
They will be very helpful to the committee and we will give very careful attention to the views presented here.
(Thereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the committee went into executive session.)