Originally created 06/29/02

Letter writer needs reality check

Harry Myers' June 10 letter, "SRS conned ignorant farmers," labors under several grave misapprehensions.

Acquisition of the land for the Savannah River Plant was accomplished in 1951-1952 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Properly educated and experienced personnel were transferred in from other locations where they had held similar positions.

When the land acquisition was complete, these employees (of which I was one) moved on to positions in other locations, where our expertise was required.

Lawyers in the area at the time (Strom Thurmond, et al.) saw to it that landowners were paid "fair market value" for their land. If they were not pleased with the amount offered, it went into litigation and a jury of their peers determined the amount they would receive. That is where the federal government's obligation to the former landowners ended. No one was "guaranteed" a job and the sounds of thousands of people running to the "hiring office" is absolute fantasy.

If "uneducated farmers" had been hired in the 1950's, 14 years ago (which would have been 1988) they would have been more concerned with retirement than with a literacy test - which was designed for elementary school children.

The post office in Ellenton, S.C., closed Feb. 29, 1952, so any pictures of that town would have been taken 50-plus years ago. I remember clearly that living conditions everywhere were much more primitive then than the style of living that we enjoy presently.

Mr. Myers would do well to curb his imagination and conduct a reality check.

S.C. Alvey, Augusta


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