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BRIDGE ACROSS COLUMBIA RIVER AT OR NEAR THE
January 13, 1932.- Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed
Mr. LEA, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
submitted the following
(To accompany H. R. 149)
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 149) to extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across the Columbia River at or near The Dalles, Oreg., having considered and amended the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
Amend the bill as follows:
Page 1, line 6, strike out the words "a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns,”; line 6, after the word “by” strike out the word "the" and insert the word "an" in lieu thereof; line 8, strike out the word “further".
The bill has the approval of the War and Agriculture Departments, as will appear by the letters attached.
Hon. Robert R. Butler who introduced this bill has submitted the following information with reference thereto:
House of REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., December 23, 1931. Mr. Elton J. Layton, Clerk, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. Layton: Replying to your letter of December 22, with reference to H. R. 149, which I introduced, I have to say that this bill provides for an extension of the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across the Columbia River at or near The Dalles, Oreg., authorized to be built by Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, by the act of Congress approved February 20, 1931. The bill provides for an extension of one and three years, respectively, from that date.
Immediately after the passage of the bill above referred to, the citizens of Dalles City, my home city, caused a bill to be introduced in the Oregon Legislature, conferring upon said city the right to vote and issue bonds for the purpose of constructing the bridge contemplated by the act. Such legislation was passed and authorized this city to issue bonds and construct the bridge
Thereafter the citizens of the community expended several thousand dollars in making a preliminary survey, causing soundings and borings to be made, and on October 13, 1931, an election was held in Dalles City and by vote of nearly 3 to 1 bonds in the sum of $650,000 were authorized to be issued by the city for the purpose of constructing the bridge.
In order to test the validity of the bond issue the city caused a friendly suit to be instituted in the circuit court of Wasco County, Oreg., and that court approved the bond issue, and the case is now on appeal to the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon, and it will be some time before the case can be heard and determined even should it be advanced on the docket, and before the case is heard and determined, the time fixed in the act for the commencement of construction may have expired, and to prevent the lapsing of the franchise I very much desire to have the bill (H. R. 149) acted on promptly.
The proposed bridge is very important, as it connects the Columbia River Highway on the south bank of the Columbia River with the North Bank Highway along the Columbia River, now under construction by the State of Washington, and will also connect up the roads to the north with The Dalles-California Highway from The Dalles to the California line and will be of great local as well as general benefit.
The right was obtained in good faith and the municipality of Dalles City is proceeding in good faith and at great expense to construct the bridge and I will appreciate early consideracion of the bill. Respectfully yours,
ROBERT R. BUTLER.
The act of Congress referred to in the bill is as follows:
(Public-No. 697—71st CONGRESS)
(S. 5921) AN ACT Authorizing Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, to construct,
maintain, and operate a bridge across the Columbia River at or near The Dalles, Oregon Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to facilitate interstate commerce, improve the postal service, and provide for military and other purposes, Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, be, and is hereby, authorized to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge and approaches thereto across the Columbia River, at a point suitable to the interests of navigation at or near The Dalles, Oregon, in accordance with the provisions of the act entitled “An act to regulate the construction of bridges over navigable waters," approved March 23, 1906, and subject to the conditions and limitations contained in this act.
SEC. 2. There is hereby conferred upon Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, all such rights and powers to enter upon lands and to acquire, condemn, occupy, possess, and use real estate and other property needed for the location, construction, operation, and maintenance of such bridge and its approaches as are possessed by railroad corporations for railroad purposes or by bridge corporations for bridge purposes in the State in which such real estate or property is situated, upon making just compensation therefor, to be ascertained and paid according to the laws of such State, and the proceedings therefor shall be the same as in the condemnation or expropriation of property for public purposes in such State.
Sec. 3. The said Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, is hereby authorized to fix and charge tolls for transit over such bridge, and the rates of toll so fixed shall be the legal rates until changed by the Secretary of War under the authority contained in the act of March 23, 1906.
SEC. 4. After the completion of such bridge, as determined by the Secretary of War, either the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, any public agency or political subdivision of either of such States, within or adjoining which any part of such bridge is located or any two or more of them jointly, may at any time acquire and take over all right, title, and interest in such bridge and its approaches and any interest in real property necessary therefor, by purchase or by condemnation or expropriation, in accordance with the laws of either of such States governing the acquisition of private property for public purposes by condemnation or expropriation. If at any time after the expiration of fifteen years after the completion of such bridge the same is acquired by condemnation or expropriation, the amount of damages or compensation to be allowed shall not include good will, going value, or prospective revenues or profits, but shall be limited to the sum of (1) the actual cost of constructing such bridge and its approaches, less a reasonable deduction for actual depreciation in value; (2) the actual cost of acquiring such interest in real property; (3) actual financing and promotion costs, not to exceed 10 per centum of the sum of the cost of constructing the bridge and its approaches and acquiring such interest in real property; and (4) actual expenditures for necessary improvements.
Sec. 5. If such bridge shall be taken over or acquired by the States or public agencies or political subdivisions thereof, or by either of them, as provided in section 4 of this act, and if tolls are thereafter charged for the use thereof, the rates of toll shall be so adjusted as to provide a fund sufficient to pay for the reasonable cost of maintaining, repairing, and operating the bridge and its approaches under economical management and to provide a sinking fund sufficient to amortize the amount paid therefor, including reasonable interest and financing cost, as soon as possible under reasonable charges but within a period of not to exceed fifteen years from the date of acquiring the same. After a sinking fund sufficient for such amortization shall have been provided, such bridge shall thereafter be maintained and operated free of tolls, or the rates of toll shall thereafter be so adjusted as to provide a fund of not to exceed the amount necessary for the proper maintenance, repair, and operation of the bridge and its approaches under economical management. An accurate record of the amount paid for acquiring the bridge and its approaches, the actual expenditures for maintaining, repairing, and operating the same, and of the daily tolls collected shall be kept and shall be available for the information of all persons interested.
Sec. 6. Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, shall within ninety days after the completion of such bridge file with the Secretary of War and with the highway departments of the States of Oregon and Washington a sworn, itemized statement showing the actual original cost of constructing the bridge and its approaches, the actual cost of acquiring any interest in real property necessary therefor, and the actual financing and promotion costs. The Secretary of War may, and upon request of the highway department of either of such States shall, at any time within three years after the completion of such bridge investigate such costs and determine the accuracy and the reasonableness of the costs alleged in the statement of such costs so filed and shall make a finding of the actual and reasonable costs of constructing, financing, and promoting such bridge; for the purpose of such investigation the said Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns, shall make available all of its records in connection with the construction, financing, and promotion thereof. The findings of the Secretary of War as to the reasonable costs of the construction, financing, and promotion of the bridge shall be conclusive for the purposes mentioned in section 4 of this act, subject only to review in a court of equity for fraud or gross mistake.
Sec. 7. The right to sell, assign, transfer, and mortgage all the rights, powers, and privileges conferred by this act is hereby granted to Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns; and any corporation to which, or any person to whom such rights, powers, and privileges may be sold, assigned, or transferred, or who shall acquire the same by mortgage foreclosure or otherwise, is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise the same as fully as though conferred herein directly upon such corporation or person.
Sec. 8. The right to alter, amend, or repeal this act is hereby expressly reserved. Approved, February 20, 1931.
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 21, 1931. Respectfully returned to the chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill (H. R. 149, 72d Cong., 1st sess.) to extend the times for commencing and completing the construction of a bridge across the Columbia River at or near The Dalles, Oreg.
Patrick J. HURLEY,
Secretary of War:
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, December 28, 1931, Hon. Sam RAYBURN, Chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. RAYBURN: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H. R. 149, transmitted with your letter of December 16 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.
This bill would extend for one and three years, respectively, from February 20, 1932, the times for commencing and completing the bridge across the Columbia River, at or near The Dalles. Oreg., authorized by act of February 20, 1931, to be built by Dalles City, a municipal corporation, its successors and assigns. The site of the proposed bridge is not on the system of Federal-aid highways but would constitute a cross connection between two routes on said system approved frr the States of Oregon and Washington which run along each side of the Columbi . River at this point. The bill is without objection so far as this department is concerned. Sincerely yours,
R. W: DUNLAP Acting Secretary.