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construction. Boulder Dam was built primarily to afford flood protection to the Imperial Valley and the Lower Colorado River Basin, and such flood-control expenditures are not ordinarily deemed reimbursable. It will be noted that this amount is offset by the aggregate of the amounts required to be paid into the Treasury for the Colorado River development fund under section 2 (d), with the result that this bill assures the Treasury the recovery of an amount equivalent to its investment of principal ($25,000,000 being earmarked for further river development), plus interest on all except $25,000,000 allocated to flood control.
REGULATIONS AND CONTRACTS
Section 8 authorizes the Secretary to make regulations and enter into contracts necessary to carry out the purpose of the act.
Section 9 authorizes the Secretary to negotiate for termination of the present lease, held by the Southern California Edison Co. and the city of Los Angeles (who generate the energy allocated to all of the contractors), and substitute an agency plan. The Secretary has stated that he proposes to enter into an agency contract with the present lessees. The bill assures these entities, as agents, the security of tenure that they now enjoy as lessees, by providing that the agency contract shall not be revocable or terminable except by mutual consent or in accordance with provisions for termination for default specified in the contract; and legal and equitable remedies are provided to protect that tenure.
Section 10 provides that the act shall not become effective until contractors obligated to pay for 90 percent of the energy have consented to its terms and executed contracts thereunder.
Section 11 provides that contractors failing to execute new contracts under the proposed act shall not have its benefits but shall pay the rates provided in the Project Act.
Section 12 defines certain terms used in the act.
Section 13 requires annual reports from the Secretary of the Interior to Congress on the operations under the act.
Section 14 reserves to each State its present control over the appropriation and use of water within its borders. The Colorado River compact is not affected. All provisions of the Project Act not inconsistent with this bill are preserved in full force and effect.
Section 15, which was added by the committee, requires the payment of prevailing wages to all laborers and mechanics employed in the construction of any part of the project (the term “project” being defined in section 12 to include both the dam and the power plant) or in the operation and maintenance or replacement of any part of the dam itself, as distinct from the power plant. In the event of disputes as to what are the prevailing rates, the determination is left to the final decision of the Secretary of the Interior, subject to the concurrence of the Secretary of Labor.
Section 16 states the short title of the act, “Boulder Canyon Project Adjustment Act."
The future of the financial operation under the existing Boulder Canyon Project Act is uncertain and unpredictable, resting as it does on the foundation of a competitive rate which is determined by elements beyond the control of the administrative officers. These elements include the price of fuel oil, the efficiency of steam plants, the capital and operating costs of such plants. If all goes well
, the Government realizes a profit, which it shares with the States; but if the present trend in these competitive factors continues, it takes a loss, which it bears alone.
In authorizing all later projects Congress has preferred a definite standard of rates, related to the amount required to retire the Government's investment. It seems fair to extend that principle to Boulder Dam; every interest involved, including the Interior Department, the States and the power contractors, prefer such a definite standard, each being willing to forego the speculative advantage to it of certain possibilities under the old law in consideration of the removal of its equally speculative hazards.
The standard set up by the new bill demands much more for the Treasury than is asked at the newer projects, and the contractors are willing to pay it. They pay, in addition to the costs of operation and maintenance and replacements, an amount equal to 100 percent of the principal of the Government's investment, plus 3 percent interest (which is a rate higher than the cost of the money invested here) on all but $25,000,000 allocated to flood control, plus an amount in lieu of taxes to the States wherein the project is located. The Treasury, for its part, earmarks $25,000,000 of the money so received for further development in the basin under Congress' control and retains its claim to another $25,000,000, being the original flood-control allocation, after the remainder is paid for. And the project thereafter belongs to the United States, not to the contractors who have paid for it.
The committee believe that S. 4039 is a fair and carefully workedout measure and recommend its passage.
REPORT No. 1785
AUTHORIZING THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY TO TRANSFER CERTAIN PROPERTY IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO THE CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO FOR STREET PURPOSES
JUNE 6 (legislative day, May 28), 1940.—Ordered to be printed
Mr. CONNALLY, from the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,
submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 9063)
The Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9063) authorizing the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency to transfer certain property in San Francisco, Calif., to the city and county of San Francisco for street purposes having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass.
This proposed legislation would authorize the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency to transfer certain property in San Francisco, Calif., to the city and county of San Francisco, Calif.
This property is a minor part of the old San Francisco Mint site which was acquired in the year 1867 which has been used, maintained, and kept in repair by the city and county of San Francisco, Calif., as a public street by authority of a revocable license granted to the city of San Francisco.
The Government has abandoned the use of the property acquired as a mint site and is about to sell or otherwise dispose of the same. The city and county of San Francisco have made application to the Government for the deeding of that part of the original site formerly known as Mint Avenue for general use of the public for street purposes. In view of the fact that the involved property has been used for several years by the city and county of San Francisco for street purposes and apparently does not compose a part of "any duly authorized, comprehensive street-widening program," it is believed that the said application of the city and county of San Francisco does not come within the purview of the act of August 26, 1935, as amended, which is here cited for the information of the Members of the Senate.
(AN ACT To authorize the sale of Federal buildings) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to suitably dispose of certain Federal buildings and the sites thereof under the control of the Treasury Department, which have been supplanted by new structures, and for which the Secretary of the Treasury has determined there is no further Federal need, he is hereby authorized, in his discretion, if he deems it to be in the best interests of the Government, to sell such buildings and sites or parts of sites to States, counties, municipalities, or other duly constituted political subdivisions of States for public use upon such terms, pursuant to such rules and regulations promulgated by him, as he deems proper, and to convey the same by the usual quitclaim deed, and he may enter into long-term contracts for the payment of the purchase price in such installments as he deems fair and reasonable and may furthermore waive any requirements for interest charges on deferred payments: Provided, That the total purchase price shall in no case be less than 50 per centum of the appraised value of the land, the appraisal to be made by the Treasury Department: Provided further, That the proceeds of the sales shall be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts: Provided further, That in the event portions of any Federal building sites under the control of the Treasury Department are desired by municipalities by reason of any duly authorized, comprehensive street-widening program, the Secretary of the Treasury may deed to such municipalities, without cost, such areas needed for street uses as may be dedicated without jeopardy to the Federal interest.
Approved, August 26, 1935.