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Mr. BEHAN. My home, which is on Hyde Park Boulevard, I bought a couple of years ago for $35,000, and it is taxed on a valuation of $30,000, and real estate in the city of Chicago is valued for tax purposes at from 70 to 90 per cent of its value, whereas our State tax commission has found and reported that real estate in the State outside of Cook County, farming property, if you please, is valued by the local down-State assessors at from 20 to 30 per cent of its valuation.
Mr. MORGAN. Haven't you a board of equalization in your State?
Mr. BEHAN. Our State officers constitute the board which fixes the rate for State purposes. The State board of equalization, presumably under our 1870 constitution, is designed to equalize the valuations as between the counties, but it is an antiquated body, which in name only is an equalizer. It does not equalize a thing. It makes voluminous reports, but does not equalize our tax valuations. We have a very comprehensive report on the question of taxes in Illinois, and in April, when we meet again, we will furnish a copy of that for the record.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much.
Mr. JARMAN, Mr. Chairman, I was chairman of the committee which formed the revenue part of the constitution.
Mr. BeHax. You mean the lately amended constitution?
Mr. JARMAN. Well, you need not throw any bricks, but Chicago voted against it. So there we are. There is one serious thing which I would like to call your attention to before I close, and I say “serious” to make some excuse for continuing this matter longer, and I am not going to dwell on it at all, but simply call your attention to it for your consideration in the formation of the bill.
The act of the Legislature of Illinois in creating the Sanitary District of Chicago as a municipal corporation, provided as follows:
Sec. 23. If, at any time, the General Government shall improve the Des Plaines or Illinois Rivers, so that the same shall be capable of receiving a flow of 600,000 cubic feet of water per minute, or more, from said channel, and shall provide for the payment of all damages which any extra flow above 300,000 cubic feet of water per minute from such channel may cause to private property, so as to save harmless the said district from all liability therefrom, then such sanitary district shall within one year thereafter, enlarge the entire channel leading into the Des Plaines or Illinois Rivers from said district to a sufficient size and capacity to produce and maintain a continuous flow throughout the same of not less than 600,000.cubic feet per minute, with a current of not more than 3 miles per hour, and such channel shall be constructed upon such grade as to be capable of producing a depth of water not less than 18 feet throughout said channel, and shall have a width of not less than 160 feet at the bottom.
Then section 24 provides: Sec. 24. When such channel shall be completed, and the wate: turned therein to the amount of 300,000 cubic feet of water per minute, the same is hereby declareil a navigable stream, and whenever the General Government shall improve the Des Plaines and Illinois Rivers for navigation, to connect with this channel, said General Government sha?! have full control over the same for navigation purposes, but not to interfere with its control for sanitary and/or drainage purposes.
Now, here is the situation as to that. Chicago is a municipal corporation. It had a right under the law to build this canal at its own cost. They are given certain rights and powers under this ject, if
act, but those rights and powers are subject to certain conditions, if it becomes a navigable stream and is taken by the Federal Government, but that canal would not become a navigable stream subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government except by the consent of the sanitary district.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not know about that.
Mr. JARMAN. I am speaking offhand about it, because I think anybody would have a right-I am simply suggesting the question to you, so that you may look into it. Anybody would have a right to build a canal for any purpose, even for toll purposes, if it did not interfere with navigation anywhere else, but however that may be, if it is a proper conclusion that a canal built by an individual interest for any purpose, and it could be used for navigation, no navigation having been in existence before. if they have full control over it, then it is doubtful, in passing a law with reference to this sub
you would not have to embrace in that statute some provision so as to take care of these two sections 23 and 24.
Mr. Hull. That is provided for in this bill of mine.
Mr. BARRETT. Mr. Chairman, you asked me to give you this section. I will have to make a little statement to you. My figures were not exactly correct. I had in mind a report in another volume, and I tried to place on Colonel Warren something that he was not responsible for. The figures are charging the sanitary district with 0.41 of a foot and charging the other diversions at Erie with 0.35 of a foot, making, according to this report of Colonel Warren's a responsibility on the part of the sanitary district of 4.9 inches and the other diversions of 4.2 inches, and it will be found in the report of Colonel Warren at page 23.
Mr. JARMAN. I want to submit for purposes of the record a statement of an engineer living at Beardstown, Ill., and ask that it be made a part of the record.
The CHAIRMAN. What is that, Judge.
Mr. JARMAN. We have prepared with reference to our view of this question and concerning the question that we are interested in, a statement prepared by a firm of engineers of the city of Beardstown and we want to introduce this and make it a part of this record.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; it may be received. (The matter referred to is as follows:)
MEMORANDUM OF INFORMATION BY DRAINAGE AND LEVEE DISTRICTS OF ILLINOIS
TO THE RIVERS AND HARBORS COMMITTEE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SIXTYEIGHTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.
1. A statement of the general topography of the Illinois River, its eleration with reference to the sea level, also the sea level of the five Great Lakes and their respective areas.
2. Map showing the location of all the drainage and levee districts along the Illinois River, Exhibit 3, also a tabulated list of the cost of each, cost of the improvements, the total value of the improvements and their total value, and the number of acres in each district.
3. Number of acres along the Illinois River not protected by any levee and in cultivation and subject to overflow, number of acres in wild land subject to overflow, and number of acres constantly under water before and after 1900, and the grand total of acres in the valley subject to overflow and inundation.
4. Drainage districts built before 1900, their name, total number of acres in each district, grand total of acres.
5. General description of the character of the land and the fertility of the soil. 6. Character and kind of the crops and their market value.
7. Area of the watershed of the Illinois River and general condition as to the precipitation as to rainfall, and a map marked “Exhibit A," hereto attached and made a part of this statement.
8. Amount of water turned in the Illinois River since 1900, in a general way, number of acres made unproductive, which statement includes number cultirative acres, number of acres of timber destroyed, and the extent to which the influx of the lake has affected the fish industry in said valley, the beaches, and the excursion trips on the river.
9. Average gage height at Peoria and Beardstown, two important gage stations on the Illinois River, their monthly average for March, April, May, and June, before and after 1900.
10. Effect on the Illinois River of 10,000 cubic feet per second on gagne height at Peoria and Beardstown.
11. Statement of how the water has affected and damaged the Illinois Valley for the past 24 years.
12. Estimated damages caused by reason of the water from Lake Michigan to the valley lands, private property of all kinds, including homes and business houses in towns and villages, the loss to navigation, including the destruction of roads, highways, and wharfs, the damages to the fish industry, damage to public utilities, and the grand total.
13. The 1922 flood, and an itemized statement of the damages and the influences of the water from the sanitary district canal upon that flood.
14. A description of the construction, character, location and operation of Chicago Drainage Canal, and a map hereto attached marked " Exhibit B" showing the inlets of water from Lake Michigan to the controlling works at Joliet, with a description of the size and capacity of the same. Also a map marked “Exhibit C" showing the location, area, and sea level elevation of the various lakes. Exhibit D is a profile of the surface of the Illinois River Valley connected with the Chicago Drainage Canal.
15. Estimated damages to the Great Lakes and the number of investigations made before and since 1900, by the Federal Government to ascertain the damage done to the Great Lakes by reason of the withdrawal of the water from Lake Michigan by the Sanitary District of Chicago, the damages to the valley and the number of investigations made by the United States Government before and since 1900.
16. Request for an investigation and an estimate by this committee of the districts in the valley since 1900.
17. With this statement we ask to introduce copies of the following documentary evidence, to wit:
Certified copies of the joint and several answers of the defendants of the case in the Supreme Court of the State of Wisconsin v. State of Illinois and the Sanitary District of Chicago.
Report of the Illinois Division of Waterways, second edition. Report of the Illinois River and its bottoms.
Report of the division of waterways, by William S. Sackett, superintendent. Photographs of natural conditions along the Illinois River, also photographs of flood conditions.
Statement of George M. Wisner, chief engineer of the Sanitary District of Chicago and C. Arch Williams, attorney, Sanitary District of Chicago. Dated 1919.
Memorandum for the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army concerning the drainage and sewerage conditions in Chicago and the diversion of 10,000 cubic feet per second from Lake Michigan at Chicago. By W. H. Healy, president; Edward J. Kelly, chief engineer; and Clyde L. Day, attor. ney. Dated October, 1923.
1. The Illinois River from La Salle to Grafton is the remnant of an ancient stream bed, bordered by wide and low bottom, and much cut by lake, bayou, and marsh; and an alluvial stream of small lot water volume and sluggish current with a declivity of only 26 feet in 225 miles, a declivity so small as to require a large volume of water to maintain an effective channel; a stream which in its natural condition is able to maintain but a small depth through the deposits with which the tributaries constantly tend to choke the channel ; a tendency ever increasing with the inhabitation of the watershed and the cultivation and reclamation of lands.
The erection of dams with a view to the creation of pools of slack water for the purpose of navigation diminishes the scouring force of the current at medium and low stages and promotes channel decay, causes deposits in the mouths of tributaries and the more ready overflow of the bottom lands; and generally the tendency is to restore the natural channel of equilibrium at a higher level with great ultimate injury to the valley from overflow and unhealthfulness, a tendency already exhibited in a notable degree from the conditions created by the dams erected by the State at Henry and Copperas Creek in 1871 and 1877, respectively.
The completion by the United States of the dams at La Grange and Kampsville has raised the general level of the river below Copperas Creek by several feet and promoted all these injurious tendencies to channel decay with overflow and unhealthfulness already exhibited through the agency of the State works at Henry and Copperas Creek.
The Illinois River has been a highway of commerce from the earliest settlement of the country. For the purpose of maintaining low water, navigation dams and locks have been constructed at Kampsville, La Grange, Copperas Creek, and Henry, in the early days producing slack-water navigation as far up the river as La Salle, the terminus of the Illinois-Michigan Canal. The dams at Henry and Copperas Creek were completed in 1871 and 1877, respectively, and were constructed by the State of Illinois. The dam at La Grange was completed in 1889, and the dam at Kampsville in 1893. These two dams were built by the t'nited States Government.
In the low water season of 1904—the lowest water since the opening of the Chicago drainage canal—the heads at the several dams were as follows: Kampsville
6. 14 La Grange_
5. 60 Copperas Creek.
2. 38 Henry--
2. 80 Previous to 1900 a large part of the lands now under cultivation in drainage and levee districts were susceptible of drainage for agricultural purposes by gravity. To-day this entire acreage is drained only by pumping; a burden which increases as the general water level of the river raises, because the lands within the levees are correspondingly wetter by raising of the water table and heads to pump against are higher.
1-a. With this statement we furnish a profile of the Illinois River from Lake Michigan to Grafton showing slope of the surface. (House Doc. 263, 59th Cong., 1st sess.)
1-b. Map showing location of Lake Michigan, Mississippi River, and watershed of the Illinois River as proposed by the State of Illinois, division of waterways, 1915.
Value of Drainage Districts on Nlinois River-Continued.
$230,000 $40,000 $270,000 $1,600 South Beardstown.
633, 051 160,000 1,000,000 Valley
10, 192 3, 200 do.
112, 000 Meredosia Lake.
75,000 300,000 1, 200 4,000
Cass and Morgan 330,000 Pankey Pond (special)
150,000 500,000 4,000 1,400 do.
30,000 15,000 Mauvaisterre
140,000 1,000 1,000 Morgan
40,000 5, 000 100,000 Coon Run
1,000 4,630 Morgan and Scott. 160, 000 44, 000 400,000 2,000 Little Creek
160,000 20,000 McGee Creek
200,000 2,500 11, 250 Pike and Brown. 1, 200, 000 200,000 1,400,000 Valley City
20,000 6,000 Pike
550,000 180,000 750,000 8,000 Scott County
1,000,000 Big Swan.
250,000 1,250,000 15, 000 11, 740 do.
360,000 1,550,000 15, 000 12, 320 Greene and Scott. Hartwell
681, 256 300,000 1,550,000 20, 680 8,800 Greene
704, COO Keach..
160, 000 864, 000 1, 800 10, 500 .--..do.
735,000 250,000 1,400,000 12, 000 Eldred.
650, 000 Spankey:
300,000 1,200,000 11,000 860 ..do. Nutwood.
60,000 10,000 100,000 860
11,300 Greene and Jersey. 1, 100, 000 250,000 Rosedale (private)
1, 350,000 12, 000 285 Jersey
28,500 3,000 315, 000 300 Lynchburg and Sangamon Bottom 1, 300 Mason
130,000 20, 000 150,000 2,500 Total.. 198, 785
13,574, 807 5,301, 400 26, 997,000 264, 000
Total cost of improvements, $18,876,207.
3. Cultivated land in Illinois River Valley not in drainage district:
per acre. .
80,000 120,000 225, 000
30,000 475,000 315, 000 150,000
1. Number of acres along the Illinois River not protected by levees and in cultivation subject to
Acres. overflow. 2. Number of acres in wild land and unmeandered lakes subject to overflow, but partly subject
to reclamation... 3. Number of acres constantly under water before and after 1900 (river channel and meandered lakes) (river channel about 34,000 acres).
63,000 4. Acreage in drainage and levee districts...
200,000 Total acres in valley and subject to overflow
4. Drainage districts built before 1900 :
6, 800 10, 500
24, 700 The Illinois River Valley is a very fertile alluvial soil. The soil is very porous and readily drains. The subsoil in general is a heavy clay. The land is very flat in its typography and has practically no drains except when artificial drains are constructed.