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possibly of two engineers and transportation equipment it is possible that this agency could make many of these investigations which the Army engineers cannot undertake. There are some conditions which will need immediate inrestigation and this might be done by employing expert consulting services on a temporary basis. The committee believes that enough money should be appre priated to enable the State water commission and its related organizations to do this work.
Recommendation.—The committee recommends that adequate funds be appropriated to insure proper inspection of dams, dikes, and other conditions relating to flood control. Regional planning
The floods of August 19, 1955, and the resulting reconsideration of town planning and flood-control measures, underline the regional aspects of all community planning. These aspects are particularly pertinent in Connecticut, where the considerable orientation of towns along north-south river valleys creates mutual responsibilities based on waterflow, and mutual interests based on highway and railroad routes. Planning, under these circumstances, can have no real validity unless it acknowledges regional problems. Beyond the particular pertinence resulting from Connecticut's topography, it is, of course, always the sensible, economical, and foresighted thing where centers of population exist side by side to regard them for planning purposes as a single integrated area.
For these reasons the committee urges that all agencies concerned should make every effort to encourage towns contiguous to each other, or which are part of a group of communities otherwise related, to coordinate their town plans, redevelopment projects, and flood-control projects. The highway department in particular should be encouraged to cooperate in this respect.
The Connecticut General Statutes (1949) provide in chapter 46 for the creation of regional planning authorities. To the committee's knowledge, only one such authority has been created. This is the authority for south-central Connecticut, which covers an area based generally on New Haven. In the river valleys, where regional planning authorities are most needed, it does not appear that any hare been created.
It appears that the statutes are in general well designed to permit the kind of regional planning which the committee believes should be encouraged. They were amended at the last regular session of the general assembly. One of the changes then adopted was to remove the requirement that towns in a regional authority be "contiguous” to each other, and to substitute the more realistie requirement that they be **** parts of the same planning region as defined by the Connecticut Development Commission.* * * )"
The committee understands that the Connecticut Development Commission is submitting bills to further strengthen the commission's efforts to encourage regional planning. These bills merit the consideration of the general assembly.
Recommendation. The committee recommends that the general assembly favorably consider such bills proposed by the Connecticut Development Commission. Civil defense radio network
The committee has been reliably informed that better communication facilities would have enabled State and local authorities to deal more adequately with fast-changing conditions during the flood emergencies.
Recommendation.—The committee recommends that the general assembly study the matter of an appropriate sufficient to install a civil-defense radio network adequate to provide communication in any area of the State.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Aid to flood victims
1. Urge the Congress to make a study of the possibilities and problems of a Federal disaster insurance program.
2. Abate sales and use taxes on items costing $35 or more purchased to replace those destroyed or damaged by the floods.
3. Abate local property taxes on property damaged 50 percent or more by the August and October floods and reimburse towns and cities for such abatements from State funds. Estimated cost, $2,100,000.
4. Waive interest on delinquent property taxes where flood damage is involved. 5. Acquire and relocate temporary housing for occupation by flood victims. Estimated cost, $180,000.
6. Extend the State's low-interest-rate home-mortgage loan program to assist those whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the floods.
7. Expand the State's moderate rental housing program to provide housing for flood victims.
8. Liberalize the terms and conditions upon which savings banks and savings departments can make mortgage and home repair loans on flood-damaged houses.
9. Modify laws concerning chattel mortgages. 10. Suspend credit provisions of Liquor Control Act during times of emergency. 11. Amend the statutes to facilitate settlement of estates of flood victims.
12. Outlaw misrepresentation in so-called closeout sales and require all transient vendors to be properly licensed.
Total estimated aid to flood victims, $2,280,000. Aid to towns
13. Reimburse municipalities from State funds for tax losses resulting from grand list reductions because of floods. Estimated cost, $1,575,000.
14. Allow additional time for assessors and boards of tax review to file complete grand list returns with the State tax commissioner.
15. Permit the State board of education to pay the 1955–56 per pupil grant for public-school operations in 1 lump sum rather than 3 installments.
16. Make grants for repair and reconstruction of flood-damaged local highways and bridges in addition to regular town-aid grants. Estimated cost, $14,500,000.
17. Reimburse towns and cities for repair and replacement of other damaged municipally owned property and equipment. Estimated cost, $600,000.
Total estimated aid to towns, $16,675,000. Repair and replacement of State-owned property
18. Make additional funds available for repair and replacement of flooddamaged State highways and bridges. Estimated cost, $15,500,000 (subject to reduction by Federal aid).
19. Reimburse State departments and the governor's contingent fund for expenditures incurred in repairing or replacing damaged property and financing flood emergency operations. Estimated cost, $600,000.
20. Repair damage to housing authority property. Estimated cost, $186,000.
Total estimated repair and replacement of State-owned property, $16,286,000. Redevelopment planning
21. Authorize the towns to declare a moratorium on rebuilding in flooded areas for a period of 6 months.
22. Empower local redevelopment agencies to acquire land for the relocation. of shopping centers and industrial plants outside flooded areas or areas in danger of flooding.
23. Strengthen existing planning laws by including specific limitations on building in flood-prone areas.
24. Assist towns in financing redevelopment projects which qualify for Federal aid by a State grant of one-half of the town's net cost.
25. Urge the General Assembly to study proposals for State assistance for local redevelopment projects which do not qualify for Federal aid.
26. Demand prompt attention of the Congress to flood-control projects which will prevent devastation in the Northeast.
27. Make adequate funds available to the State board for the supervision of dams and related agencies to ensure the proper inspection of dams and other flood-control facilities.
28. Enact legislation which will strengthen the Connecticut Development Commission's efforts to encourage regional planning.
29. Urge the General Assembly to give favorable consideration to the installation of a civil defense radio network adequate to provide communication in any area of the State.
FINANCING THE FLOOD RECOVERY PROGRAM The summary of recommendations shows that the proposed cost of aid to flood victims, aid to towns, and State reconstruction amounts to about $35 million. This money will be required chiefly for rebuilding and repair, and when this has been accomplished Connecticut will have made no real gain in economic strength. In other words, we will merely restore the facilities we had before the flood, but will not have made any forward steps in public improvement. The amount under "Reconstruction planning,” which will produce long-range improvements, is for the most part a limiting amount, rather than an estimate of cost. It is anticipated that this will be a continuing program with amounts being appropriated as projects are authorized.
Sound principles of public finance call for the payment of expenditures for repair and rebuilding in the shortest possible time consistent with the maintenance of a vigorous overall economy. In accordance with these principles, the committee suggests that the amount needed to pay these costs be raised by an increase in taxes for a reasonable period, such as 2 years. The revenue from such an increase might well be placed in a special flood-recovery fund from which costs of the program suggested in this report could be paid.
We recognize that it is the responsibility of the legislature to determine the source of additional tax revenues and it would be presumptuous of this committee to attempt to specify a precise formula to be followed. It may be worth while, however, to point out that the problem of paying the bill for the disasters which struck Connecticut in August and October differs materially from the more familiar problem of providing additional tax revenue to meet the normal expenses of operating the State government. Despite the understandable resistance to an increase in taxes, we believe that the taxpayers of Connecticut are ready and willing to pay the bill if they are assured that the burden will be shared equitably by all. Respectfully submitted.
THE CONNECTICUT FLOOD RECOVERY COMMITTEE.
POSTSCRIPT BY THE CHAIRMAN
The members of the Connecticut Flood Recovery Committee have been diligent in their duties and unstinting in efforts-many of them at great personal sacri. fice. The chairman is deeply grateful for the work of the chairmen of the subcommittees, and for the individual contributions of every member--without which this report would not be possible.
The committee acknowledges with thanks the help of the Connecticut Public Expenditure Council in the technical organization of the material for this repori.
In its operations, the committee has been a body of inquiry, a library of information, and a board of review for many proposals from many sources, Essentially, in all of these areas of research and recommendation, the committee's work became an exercise in cooperative understanding. By working together, it learned to work together, and it is the hope of the committee that the spirit of compromise and goodwill above special interest, which it found in itself, will be maintained in the deliberations which will translate recommendation into action.
Here, the committee must confess its sense of inadequacy in lessening directly the human loss and suffering which underlie every fact and figure in this report. Yet, in the face of long and close contact with the human facts of disaster, we are confident of the ability of our fellow citizens to bring into being the new Connecticut.
SHERMAN R. KNAPP, Chairman. NOVEMBER 3, 1955.
STATE OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE, HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 20, 1955
$1, 278, 500 $2,200,000 $7, 477,000 $3,000,000
250,000 30,000 20, 000
80,000 215, 000 1,000,000 219, 275
$51, 000 $14,006,500
134, 684 60,000 1,019, 000 46, 500 2, 361, 710
75, 000 1, 600 125, 350
15, 000 30,000 3, 468,000
500,000 100,000 201, 000
1, 514, 275
269, 975 105,000 124, 000
7, 200 2, 745, 000 165,000
3, 500 527, 000
35,000 102, 500 35, 000
55, 000 4, 200, 000
90, 850 40,000 484, 110
3, 025, 200 100,000 3,695,000 44, 800 93, 100
96, 000 50,000 75,000
1,350,000 10,000 1, 377, 500
12,095 78,500 15,000 271, 267
324, 825 161, 800 23, 895, 188
2, 500 1,858, 529
583, 300 47,840 317, 045
2,000 1,016, 500
25,000 15,000 456.000
1,000 65,000 4,574,000
2,000 93, 700
30,000 65,000 6,590,000
35,000 612, 000
6, 327 407, 350