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water resources projects, or other types of land use programs, that a recreational development will be planned so that open spaces will be preserved and these people are taken care of. This I think is now envisioned.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. But nothing has been done about it.
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. Well, I think a start is now being made on it in the administration, and in the consideration of the Congress.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. This is something that needs a lot more effort and stress and emphasis right now. Is that not right?
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. That is right. I would say in the water resources field the two emergent needs are recreation and water quality, improvement of water quality. Most of these stem from the increasing organization of the country. These have not been recognized. If you look at the water resources laws you will see they relate largely more to navigation and flood control and irrigation, and perhaps very soon a reply to these problems will have to be faced, I think especially in the East and California.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. And in the Midwest where we have the best soil, instead of letting it flow down all of the rivers we should try to conserve our soil. Isn't that right?
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. Yes. I think in the soil conservation program that the Federal Government has done much in the way of legislation, and I am hopeful even more can be done along those lines.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. As I understand your testimony you endorse this bill before us, but you are not nearly as enthusiastic as you would be if it were further amended!
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. Well, I have not said anything about amendments as such. The problem is simply this: I see a limited role for this in our present state of planning. If we increase our planning perhaps we can speed things up somewhat; but to the extent that this is useful I think it should be used. I am not a judge of when we are going to be going into a recession, nor can I speak about the effectiveness of triggering in these bills, but on the assumption that the policymakers know that we are going into a recession, this would be an appropriate device in terms of the economics and statistics; and then I think it should be used. The limiting factor is what we can do, and giving them standby authority I would say cuts out 6 weeks to 2 months of timelag in recognition of getting congressional approval of it, because Congress may not be in session at the time.
So this is a useful gap shortener, so to speak, but it only carries us part of the way.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Based on the record I am sure Congress will be in session, because we have been in session most of the time here.
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. I guess that is true. Yes.
Mr. HUFSCHMIDT. I was thinking of the autumn recess. I am sure there will be an autumn recess this
year. Mr. BLATNIK. The Chairman does not want to interrupt but I would like to speed things up. We may be able to complete without coming back in the afternoon so we can avoid holding up our witnesses and let them get back to their jobs.
Mr. SCHWENGEL. Mr. Chairman, I want to cooperate, but we have some important testimony from witnesses here. We have had a lot
of important witnesses here, and we should be able to take full advantage of the experience and talents that they have. We should have a chance to question them properly and bring out the facts that we need to consider this.
Mr. BLATNIK. I think you have brought out the facts very well. We just want to avoid repetition or keep it to a minimum. You ask
a the same questions of the witnesses over and over again.
Mr. SCHERER. Are you going to try to finish with all of the witnesses this morning!
Mr. BLATNIK. I would like to finish. We have three witnesses left. Mr. SCHWENGEL. That is all the questions I have then.
Mr. BLATNIK. Are there any other questions? If not, thank you for your presence and appearance this morning. You have been of assistance to the committee. Off the record.
(Discussion off the record.)
STATEMENT OF BERNARD KALAHAR, CHAIRMAN, SUPERVISORS
INTER-COUNTY COMMITTEE; ACCOMPANIED BY EDWARD D. CONNOR, VICE CHAIRMAN, SUPERVISORS INTERCOUNTY COMMITTEE, AND PRESIDENT PRO TEM, CITY OF DETROIT COMMON COUNCIL; AND GERARD COLEMAN, SECRETARY OF THE INTER-COUNTY COMMITTEE, DETROIT, MICH.
Mr. BLATNIK. For the record, will you give your full name and title or official capacity?
Mr. KALAHAR. Mr. Chairman, may I introduce also Mr. Edward Connor, who is vice chairman of our supervisors intercounty committee and president pro tem of the Detroit City Council, who may wish to make a short statement after I finish, and Mr. Gerard Coleman, executive director of our supervisors intercounty committee, who is also here with me?
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, my name is Bernard A. Kalahar. I am chairman of the Macomb County, Mich., board of supervisors and have served in that capacity for the past 7 years. I am president of the Michigan State Association of Supervisors and also chairman of the supervisors intercounty committee, an official governmental organization composed of the six southeastern Michigan counties of Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne, which comprise the Detroit metropolitan area. This fifth largest metropolitan area in the Nation encompasses nearly 4,000 square miles, and has a present population of over 4,300,000.
It is a privilege to be invited to appear before this Committee on Public Works to express the viewpoints of both the National Association of County Officials and the supervisors intercounty committee on the proposed legislation concerning public works programs.
In the instance of H.R. 10113, the proposed Public Works Coordination and Acceleration Act, I am presenting this statement for both the supervisors intercounty committee and the National Association of County Officials. As a member of NACO, which represents more than 9,000 county officials in more than 3,000 counties in the United States, I am proud that the policy statement contained within the NACO county platform favors the creation of an independent office
to advise the President and the Congress on the status of public works construction, planning, and future needs. It is through such an office that public works projects of the Federal, State, and local government could be encouraged and coordinated.
I should like to include for the record the exact policy statement as contained in the NACO county platform which is as follows:
The President, by Executive order, has temporarily set up an Office of Public Works Coordinator. This unit has been extremely helpful to counties and other local units in developing advance planning for public works which both reduces the cost of public facilities and provides a backlog of projects available for increased public spending in time of economic distribution. We endorse the aims of this program and recommend that the Congress establish this Office permanently by appropriate legislation.
This proposed legislation H.R. 10113, is vitally important if there is to be established the ability to mount a prompt and effective program aimed at combating recessions, or persistently high levels of unemployment such as presently exist in the State of Michigan, and particularly in the six-county Detroit metropolitan area.
We in county government look to this proposed legislation with the firm conviction that the establishing of such an office for coordinating and accelerating public works projects constitutes a useful and practical approach toward construction of vitally needed public works facilities. We believe that Congressman Blatnik's bill creates the mechanism whereby minimum expenditure of Federal funds could result in a maximum increase of needed facilities and employment so necessary not only in the Detroit metropolitan area but throughout the entire State of Michigan.
Both H.R. 10318, the proposed Standby Capital Improvements Act and the $600 million capital improvements program which the President submitted to the Congress on March 26, 1962, are, from the standpoint of the supervisors intercounty committee, vitally important to the six-county Detroit metropolitan area. Together they provide a logical approach toward ultimate solution of our continuing serious lack of badly needed public works and facilities, and high rate of unemployment in the region.
As a specific example of the fiscal problems county government faces, I would cite the fact that the three largest counties in the Detroit region have 53 percent of their total county budget dedicated to welfare activities, such as direct relief, hospitalization of indigents, and the care of children. The percentages are as follows: Macomb County, 55.4, Wayne County, 55, and Oakland County, 57.6. As is certainly apparent there is very little, if any, money left for the building of badly needed facilities that will not only provide much needed employment and protect the public health, but also result in an orderly serviced, properly financed, and well-planned Detroit metropolitan
In April of 1961 the supervisors intercounty committee assumed the responsibility of gathering and preparing, for presentation to the present Federal and State administrations, a compilation of vitally needed public works projects in the Detroit six-county area. These various projects had a total estimated cost of $1,206 million and would have provided a total estimated 300,770,000 labor man-hours. I will be happy to make available to this committee a copy of that survey.
The supervisors intercounty committee is presently engaged in compiling an updated and revised listing of public works projects in the six-county Detroit region which should be in finalized form by the end of April. This also will be made available for the committee's use at the earliest possible time.
I think one copy has been furnished each member of the committee; if not, we will be happy to submit them.
I should like to point at this time to the accomplishments of one county-noted upon following through on the original compilation. You will note the construction of approximately $53 million in public works projects, of pending HHFA applications to the extent of approximately $3 million, and the changing of category in various planned projects so that construction could be accomplished within a relatively brief period of time. With the addition of new items to the overall listing, I believe this type of advance planning will prevent yesterday's mistakes from recurring, and also preclude a continuing cycle of redevelopment.
We sincerely believe the Standby Capital Improvements Act is one of the needed legislative tools that local government can utilize to pull up its own “economic bootstraps” in building needed facilities such as water supply systems, sewage treatment plants, sewage disposal systems, airports, hospitals, et cetera, and at the same time by providing employment for a large portion of the present surplus work force that according to the latest preliminary figures is 9.2 percent of the State of Michigan's total labor supply.
In keeping with President Kennedy's often expressed belief that local government should attempt to solve its own problems before receiving Federal assistance, I should like to point out that favorable consideration of the Standby Capital Improvements Act by this honorable committee would lead toward the initial stages of a governmental partnership at the Federal, State, and local levels. In this manner proper financing could be obtained which would alleviate a depressed area's economic condition-unemployment problems can be solvedand the impact of a program of immediate construction of public works facilities for not just the Detroit metropolitan area, but other regions throughout the Nation would be manifest within the Nation's total economy.
We see in the legislation you are now considering, the possibility of your increasing our ability to help ourselves. We look forward to its enactment.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BLATNIK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for a very concise and to-the-point statement.
The National Association of County Officials has an outstanding record of work in the field of local projects and advanced planning, and has done a splendid job.
Are there any questions?
Mr. SCHERER. Mr. Chairman, over the years the American Municipal League, the county organizations, and other organizations representing local governments, have come to the Congress and urged the enactment of legislation which involves new, additional expenditures of Federal moneys for local governments.
And as soon as these programs are initiated then they visit the Congressmen and complain about the restrictions, the limitations, and the redtape placed upon them in carrying these programs forward by the various agencies of the Federal Government that control the programs.
They condemn the Federal Government for interfering with State and local prerogatives.
I have not seen any of these spending programs for local communities that have been opposed by local governments. Eventually, however, I find the local officials sitting in my office, complaining bitterly about the redtape that they have to go through, about the control and the domination of the Federal agencies that administer these programs.
Frankly, I think that if this trend continues, city, State, and county officials are going to be nothing but errand boys for the Federal Government in administering local government.
Mr. BLATNIK. Are there any further questions?
Mr. CRAMER. Do I understand that the recommendation that the NACO county officials' organization approved relates only to the setting up of new agencies as in H.R. 10113, and not to a recommendation on either the $600 million standby or on the $2 billion for ìocal public facilities?
Mr. KALAHAR. I believe the reason for that is that the directors had not yet had approval of the membership except on the one covered by H.R. 10113, and that is the reason.
They are not either for or against. I think one of the other speakers will bring that out.
Mr. CRAMER. Well, in any event, your testimony is to the effect that they support the one but not necessarily the other?
Mr. KALAHAR. That is from NACO, right.
Mr. CRAMER. Your Governor was here, Governor Swainson, and he indicated that about a quarter of a million are unemployed in Detroit.
When we applied Mr. George Meany's figures, as to how many unemployed per million dollars of Federal expenditure in this type of public works' pump priming, plus the secondary effects in employment for the State of Michigan alone, when we applied Mr. Meany's figures to that it would take over $700 million a year dollarwise to put these people to work.
Now, where is the money coming from on the Federal level?
Mr. KALAHAR. We do not presume it is going to put the entire group to work, but it would help greatly.
Mr. CRAMER. It surely is not. According to the figures, it will put about 8,000 to work.
Mr. KALAHAR. That is correct. It would be a help though, I assure you.
There are a number of projects in my own county, and many of them are sewage-disposal-type projects, to prevent the lakes from being polluted and, in fact, we have even got court orders against construction in my county until these are arranged.
And I assure you that some of the financing is a tough thing. One of my cities in my county, on the outlet of the big drains which are