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To illustrate, our residents have voted approval of bonds for water expansion, sewers, and sewage disposal. These projects would give immediate employment to thousands of jobless.
As to the other programs suggested in the documentation I have reservations as to our ability to come up with matching funds. We are near the maximum of our budget bonding limitation, we have stretched our local resources to the outer reaches, and we are in the process of adopting a local income tax, I might add much to my chagrin, to relieve the pressure on business and industry. But there is little left for the increase required under these bills. If one of the above alternatives were adopted, the effect would be immediate and dramatic for our capital improvements program for streets. My city engineer informs me that we can put another 2,813 people to work for 32 weeks— the normal street work season-if we had an additional $24 million. But we cannot use revenue anticipation bonds from the weight and gas tax since that is already pledged in our program for this year. . Ånd there is no place in our budget to find additional money. If you were to adopt an outright grant approach, we could put these people to work very quickly. With the adoption of a 50-percent credit arrangement, we could put one-third of that number to work—971 people.
Other variations I am sure will occur to the committee members as a means to expand this specific program. A combination of credits and full grants during the first year the projects are initiated by depressed areas would provide the muscle to get these capital works underwayand to get the men and women back on the job quickly.
Let me turn now to a source of irritation to many cities. This is a provision in these bills for acceleration of federally assisted projects such as urban renewal. In Detroit we have authorized bonds for extensive urban renewal projects. But these projects will have little impact on our community for some time. Why? Under the present methods of execution, taking into consideration the timing of the various elements involved-planning, Federal review, Federal approval, public hearing, land acquisition appraisals, condemnation procedures, relocation of site occupants, site clearance, installation of public improvements and sale of the land to redevelopers—under a cumbersome set of rules, the jobs would be made available over a period of from 3 to 5 years. Drastic changes to speed up the administrative procedures are necessary to reduce the time significantly. In the urban renewal program it is the multiplier effect which private redevelopment offers that make this a relatively cheap way to put a lot of people to work. For example, while direct labor for site clearance and site improvements shown in the documentation total only about 500 jobs for 1 year, the redevelopers would need over 21,000 employees to improve this cleared land.
We have included documentation of the capital improvement program of the city of Detroit. It demonstrates the vast amount of unmet needs of our city. Many of these projects have been proposed and desired for better than a decade but due to limitations on the financial capacity of our city, have been postponed in favor of more pressing needs. Some of the projects are now ready to be placed in construction; others, in the absence of new sources of revenue, will again need to be deferred. Acceleration of federally aided projects and of local capital works programs has a direct meaning in the human equation.
In Detroit, thousands could be hired for sewer, water, sewage disposal, parks and recreation improvements, public building construction and modernization, airport expansion, and a host of other projects. The benefits to the community in the expansion and modernization of these facilities will be widely distributed. These assets will contribute greatly in making it easier for Detroit to attract business and industry and to revitalize our economy.
Much of my presentation has emphasized the desirability of an accelerated public works program for distressed areas. I do not intend to minimize the very real need for standby authority to be vested in the President for a broad public works program for the Nation. The economic indicators tell him when there is a need to act. Delay in the implementation of an accelerated public works program caused by the necessity to appeal to Congress for authority might cause undue hardship and permit the Nation to slip into the further morass of a deep recession. The deliberative processes of the Congress are a necessary safeguard against a hasty and poorly conceived public works program. These bills provide the leadtime, the careful consideration and the advance planning such a program must have. I believe also there should be the kind of permanent office for preplanning public works called for in H.R. 10113. I believe also that the actual administration of this program should be directly under the President so that the administrator would be able to get active participation from all the Federal departments and agencies summoned to support this broad-gaged attack on our economic ills.
In conclusion, let me thank you for allowing me to come before you and testify, and let me say this in conclusion : I seriously urge your consideration of these two proposals, and that they be adopted quickly, because they will, in turn, in my judgment, give us the tools for the remaking not only of our city, but the country, which will fulfill the American dream.
Mr. FALLON. On behalf of the committee, Mayor, let me thank you for apearing here this morning and congratulate you on a very fine statement.
Mayor CAVANAGH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FALLON. Without objection, at this point the appendixes to the statement of Mayor Cavanagh will be made a part of the record.
(The appendixes referred to are as follows:)
APPENDIX TO STATEMENT OF MAYOR JEROME P. CAVANAGH, CITY OF
The following summarizes and details public works projects which are ready or in preliminary planning stages. A standard formula computation was applied to project cost to determine man-hours of labor.
Direct labor was estimated to be 50 percent of total project cost.
Direct labor hours were obtained by calculating labor costs at $5 per hour. Indirect labor hours were added at a rate of 50 percent of direct labor hours.