S. 3017 (108th): Swain County Settlement Act of 2004

108th Congress, 2003–2004. Text as of Nov 19, 2004 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 3017 IS

108th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3017

To provide for the settlement of the claims of Swain County, North Carolina, against the United States under the agreement dated July 30, 1943.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 19, 2004

Mr. EDWARDS introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To provide for the settlement of the claims of Swain County, North Carolina, against the United States under the agreement dated July 30, 1943.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Swain County Settlement Act of 2004’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

      (1) an agreement dated July 30, 1943, between the Secretary of the Interior, the State of North Carolina, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Swain County, North Carolina, provided that the Department of the Interior would construct a road along the north shore of the Fontana Reservoir to replace a road flooded by the construction of Fontana Dam and the filling of the Reservoir;

      (2) as of the date of enactment of this Act, the road has not been completed;

      (3) a 1962 National Park Service study of the proposed road found that the construction of the road would result in severe ‘damage to the landscape and natural park values’;

      (4) there are additional environmental concerns relating to the road construction, including concerns relating to the exposure of Anakeesta rock that produces acids and metals that leach into streams and kill aquatic life;

      (5) the proposed road would cut through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in the National Park system;

      (6) in 2000, the National Park Service estimated that the cost of building the proposed road would be $150,000,000, excluding planning, design, and environmental compliance costs;

      (7) as of June 2004, the public review process conducted by the National Park Service found that 88 percent of respondents favored a cash settlement over constructing the road; and

      (8) on February 11, 2003, the Swain County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution supporting a settlement as a substitute for the construction of the road.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to settle and quiet all claims arising out of the agreement referred to in subsection (a)(1).

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) AGREEMENT- The term ‘agreement’ means the agreement of July 30, 1943, between the Secretary, the State, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the County relating to the replacement of a road in the County flooded by the construction of Fontana Dam and the filling of Fontana Reservoir.

      (2) COUNTY- The term ‘County’ means Swain County, North Carolina.

      (3) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Treasury.

      (4) STATE- The term ‘State’ means the State of North Carolina.

SEC. 4. SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall offer to compensate the County for the road not being built in an amount determined by the parties to the agreement, taking into consideration the estimated cost of the proposed road.

    (b) PAYMENT- Not later than 60 days after the date on which the County accepts the offer under subsection (a), the Secretary shall, using amounts made available under section 5, pay to the County the amount of compensation determined under subsection (a).

    (c) DEPOSIT- Amounts paid to the County under subsection (b) shall be deposited in an account in accordance with any rules and regulations established by the North Carolina Local Government Commission.

    (d) USE-

      (1) PRINCIPAL- The principal of amounts deposited under subsection (c) shall be expended by the County only as authorized under a resolution approved by 2/3 of the registered voters of the County.

      (2) INTEREST- Any interest accrued on amounts deposited under subsection (c) shall be expended only for purposes approved by a majority vote of the governing body of the County.

      (3) LIMITATION- No amounts made available under this Act shall be used to make payments to an agent or attorney for services rendered with respect to the claims settled by this Act.

    (e) SATISFACTION OF CLAIMS- Acceptance by the County of the payment by the Secretary under subsection (b) constitutes full settlement of the claims of the County (including any person or entity making a claim by, through, or under the County) against the United States, the Department of the Interior, and the Tennessee Valley Authority under the agreement.

SEC. 5. FUNDING.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act.

    (b) TRANSFER OF FUNDS- There is transferred to the Secretary to carry out this Act any unobligated balance of the $16,000,000 originally made available for the construction of and improvements to North Shore Road in the County under section 378 of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2001 (114 Stat. 1356A-40).