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RETURN OF BURKE AIRPORT PROPERTY

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 1958

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE AND FOREIGN COMMERCE,

Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:30 a. m., in Room 1333, New House Office Building, Hon. Kenneth A. Roberts presiding.

Mr. ROBERTS. The subcommittee will please be in order.

We are meeting this morning to consider H. R. 10045, introduced by Hon. Joel T. Broyhill, of Virginia, which provides for the sale of the property acquired by the Secretary of Commerce for the so-called Burke Airport in Fairfax County, Va., which site has been abandoned in favor of another site.

Without objection the bill will be included in the record at this point.

(H. R. 10045 is as follows:)

(H. R. 10045, 85th Cong., 2d sess. ] A BILL To provide for the sale of all of the real property acquired by the Secretary of

Commerce for the construction of the Burke Airport, Virginia Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) the Secretary of Commerce, within one year after the date of enactment of this Act, shall sell all of the real property which he acquired under the Act of September 7, 1950 (64 Stat. 770), for the construction of the Burke Airport, Fairfax County, Virginia. Subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the Secretary of Commerce shall sell such real property to the general public in such tracts, parcels, sections, and other parts as he deems appropriate, and at a price determined by him to be equal to its fair market value.

(b) For a period of ninety days after the date of enactment of this Act the appropriate agency of the State of Virginia shall have the right to choose from the real property to be sold under this Act a tract of not to exceed one hundred and fifty acres to be used as a site for the extension of the University of Virginia in Northern Virginia, and to purchase such tract at the price paid by the United States for that tract under the Act of September 7, 1950, reduced by such amount as the Secretary of Commerce may deem appropriate if any improvements have been removed or other injury done to the real property since he acquired it.

(c) For a period of ninety days beginning on the day following the last day of the ninety-day period provided in subsection (b) of this section, or on the day following the day the appropriate agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia notifies the Secretary of Commerce in writing of its decision to acquire or not to acquire (as the case may be) a specified tract of real property under subsection (b) of this section, whichever day first occurs, the former owner of any part of the real property to be sold under this Act which is not sold under subsection (b) of this section shall have the right to repurchase such part at the price he was paid for it under such Act of September 7, 1950, reduced by such amount as the Secretary of Commerce may deem appropriate if any improvements have been removed or other injury done to such real property since he

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acquired it. In the case of the death of any such former owner, his spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, his children shall succeed to his right of repurchase under this subsection.

Mr. ROBERTS. It will be followed by letters from the various agencies in the executive branch commenting on the legislation. I have here a letter from the Comptroller General, a letter from the CAB, and the Secretary of Commerce. (The letters referred to follow :)

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,

Washington, D. C., April 1, 1958. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in reply to your letter of January 20, 1958, requesting the views of this Department on H. R. 10045, a bill to provide for the sale of all the real property acquired by the Secretary of Commerce for the construction of Burke Airport, Va.

This proposal would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to sell all of the real property acquired for the construction of the Burke Airport, Va.

The Department of Commerce is opposed to the enactment of subject proposal.

The Department of Commerce is of the opinion that the subject proposal is in conflict with the declaration of policy contained in section 2, Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, which set up the General Services Administration as the disposal agency for surplus Government property. Such agency has established governmentwide procedures for the orderly disposal of Government surplus and is adequately equipped to handle the disposal of the Burke property as a part of its normal functions. In addition, it has specialized sales talent, techniques, and facilities which are not available in other Government agencies. It is recommended, therefore, that the disposal of the real property be carried out by the General Services Administration.

This Department is now processing a declaration of excess property, the effect of which will be to transfer from the Civil Aeronautics Administration to the General Services Administration the responsibiltiy for the disposal of these properties. Passage of this proposal, therefore, would negate this trangfer and, in the opinion of this Department, seriously confuse and delay the disposal process. Additionally, this proposal is objected to on the ground that its language appears to exclude the utilization of this property for any Federal purpose.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that it would interpose no objection to the submission of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,

SINCLAIR WEEKS, Secretary of Commerce.

CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD,

Washington, D. C., March 19, 1958. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN HARRIS : This is in reply to your letter of January 20, 1958, acknowledged January 22, 1958, requesting the Board's comments on H. R. 10045, a bill to provide for the sale of all of the real property acquired by the Secretary of Commerce for the construction of the Burke Airport, Va.

H. R. 10045 provides that the Secretary of Commerce shall sell all of the land which he acquired for the construction of the Burke Airport, Fairfax County, Va., within 1 year after the date of enactment. The land has been acquired pursuant to Public Law 762, enacted September 7, 1950, which authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to purchase land for the construction of a public airport in or within the District of Columbia.

Inasmuch as the proposed legislation concerns the powers of the Secretary of Commerce and not the Board, the Board has no comment with respect to the proposed bill.

The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the submission of this report. Sincerely yours,

JAMES R. DURFEE, Chairman.

GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE,
COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, January 31, 1958.
Hon. OREN HARRIS,
Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Further reference is made to your letter of January 20, 1958, requesting any comments we may care to make concerning H. R. 10045.

The bill would authorize the disposal of all of the real property acquired by the Secretary of Commerce for the construction of the Burke Airport, Va. The State of Virginia would be granted a priority right to choose a tract of not to exceed 150 acres to be used as a site for the extension of the University of Virginia. Thereafter, former owners from whom the United States acquired the land would be given the right to repurchase the land.

Inasmuch as we have no first-hand knowledge as to the necessity or desirability of the proposed legislation, we are not in a position to make a recommendation regarding the merits of the bill. We suggest, however, that if favorable consideration is given the bill, provision be made to authorize disposal of the property by the Administrator of General Services in the manner provided by the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, in the event that the State of Virginia or the former owners do not exercise their right to purchase the land. Sincerely yours,

JOSEPH CAMPBELL, Comptroller General of the United States.

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION,

Washington, D.C., April 1, 1958. Hon. OREN HARRIS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Your letter of March 11, 1958, requested the views of the General Services Administration on H. R. 10045, 85th Congress, a bill to provide for the sale of all of the real property acquired by the Secretary of Commerce for the construction of the Burke Airport, Va.

The purpose of the bill is to direct the Secretary of Commerce to sell to the general public within 1 year all of the real property acquired for the construction of the Burke Airport, Fairfax County, Va., at a price determined by him to be equal to its fair market value, subject to

1. A priority in the State of Virginia for period of 90 days after its enactment to select and purchase 150 acres for use as an extension site for the University of Virginia at the price paid by the United States for such property reduced by an amount deemed appropriate by the Secretary if any improvements have been removed or injury done to the property since acquisition by the United States;

2. A similar priority and price preference to former owners for a period of 90 days to repurchase property acquired from them, except any property to be sold under 1 above, following the expiration, or earlier exercise or

rejection of the priority by the State of Virginia. In October 1951, the Department of Justice, at the request of the Secretary of Commerce, acquired through condemnation proceedings 1,031.3 acres of land near Burke, Fairfax County, Va., at a cost of $1,006,909, for the construction of the public airport authorized by Public Law 762, 81st Congress, approved September 7, 1950 (64 Stat. 770). The property referred to in the bill, none of which has been improved or used for the purpose for which it was acquired, consists of 63 parcels of agricultural and residential land ranging in size from one-half acre to 174 acres, interspersed with lands in private ownership. By stipulation in the condemnation proceedings, the owners of 34 parcels of land were allowed to reserve and remove improvements located thereon. The former owners of 19 of

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