Page 61: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 1992)

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Corps Of Engineers Asked

To Fund More Renovations

On Inland Waterways

The U.S. Army Corps of Engi- neers is facing a major effort from the inland waterway industry to have more funding from its operat- ing budget diverted to low-cost lock renovations that would significantly reduce barge traffic delays.

Within two years of being ap- proved, Corps money would begin flowing into new construction projects that would relieve serious backups along the Upper Missis- sippi and Illinois rivers.

The definition of what constitutes major rehabilitation will decide the fate of the waterway industry's plan, said federal and commercial offi- cials. Under present requirements, the waterways trust fund, financed through fuel taxes on towboats, must supply half the money for major re- habilitation work. However, new rules proposed last year by the

President's budget office direct the

Corps to put even smaller projects within the bounds of fund financing.

Donald Sweeney, the Corps' chief economist in its St. Louis of- fice, stated that the trust fund is already under so much financial strain that no new projects for the improvement of barge capacity can be considered until 2010.

The plan from the waterways trust fund users board would change the definition for projects requiring trust fund financing to only those construction projects that last over two years and result in extending lock life by 25 years. All other smaller scope work would fall under the sole funding responsibility of the Corps of Engineers.

While the Corps may eventually agree to reclassify its funding guide- lines to match those of the waterway industry, it would continue to op- pose any work that would increase river traffic capacity before it is able to complete renovations to selected locks and dams.

The Corps would also be forced to ask Congress for increased opera- tional budget funding in order to cover the additional costs of the new work, which could run into many millions of dollars.

CD Based Government

Logistics Data Available

From USA Info Systems

USA Information Systems Inc., of Virginia Beach, is offering its com- pact disk (CD) based "CD-FICHE™" information storage and retrieval system to customers involved with government logistics support activi- ties.

According to the company, CD-

FICHE™ is a unique indexing and retrieval database software that gives the user access to 12 million computerized logistics files within the Federal Supply Cataloging Sys- tem.


USA Information Systems claims that CD-FICHE is 8 times faster than microfiche storage media and is designed to be an easy to use high speed data research tool. System users can access data through a wide variety of search parameters, such as government supply codes or stock numbers, part names, contractor names or addresses, part numbers or even fragments of part numbers.

The system operates on any IBM/

Zenith PC-XT/AT or true compat- ible with a hard disk and 640K of computer random access memory (RAM). When linked with a printer, the user can obtain data printouts.

Some of the data features of CD-

FICHE include: all Federal Sup- ply Catalog Files; the Past Procure- ment History/Price Analysis Report

Files; the names, addresses and tele- phone numbers for over 400,000 com- mercial and government activities; and technical data on all parts and equipment displayed.

According to USA Information

Systems, CD-FICHETM is supported by a toll-free customer hotline and a trained support group to assist system users with questions or prob- lems.

For free information detailing

USA Information System's CD-

FICHETM logistical database,

Circle 46 on Reader Service Card



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USS Mississippi (CGN 40)

Official U.S. NAVY photograph

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May, 1992 Circle 219 on Reader Service Card 57

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.