Good Morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: It is a pleasure to be here this morning and welcome you to Montana, the Big Sky Country. We all appreciate the time and trouble that the committee has gone through in order to get here. We also appreciate your willingness to take this opportunity to listen to representatives of local communities. We see this as an opportunity to discuss the process for location of federal facilities in our communities and our interaction with the General Services Administration (GSA) as it relates to that siting process.

Let me begin by introducing myself -- my name is Jack Lynch, I am Chief Executive of Butte-Silver Bow. I am here today representing that city-county government as well as our Urban Revitalization Agency as it relates to our experiences with our Military Entrance Processing Station and our attempts to work with GSA through the maze of bureaucratic rules that they have established for local governments.

In the 1870's, Butte was only a small mining claim similar to many throughout the western United States. By the 1900's, Butte had become known as the richest hill on earth because of its vast wealth of mineral ores lying beneath the surface. The settlement grew to the size of a small metropolis by the turn of the century, supporting an area population of approximately 100,000. It was copper that made Butte king, becoming the world's leading producer of copper. Copper was needed for everything to do with the industrial expansion of the 20th century. Everything electrical required copper. Butte, Montana played a significant role in the industrialization of the United States. Butte's significance relates to advances in hydroelectric power, transmission, electrical equipment and mining industry advancements. The outcome of both world wars may have been different without Butte, Montana's participation.

In 1969, Butte was acknowledged for its national significance by being listed as a National Historic Landmark District because of the strong legacy of history, industrial remains and architectural structures. Butte still remains as one of the largest historic districts in the country with varied architectural, industrial and social mix to the district. You will see a mining head frame next to a worker's cottage, a millionaire's mansion next to a boarding house, ethnic neighborhoods and churches grouped around industry, and 100+ years of mining history is evident throughout the community. Butte has a unique look and is a unique city.

With our rich past, current challenges and ever brightening future, Butte-Silver Bow government has taken a proactive and creative approach to preserving our past to create our future.

Given the commitments that our communities have made to the preservation of our downtown areas, the enhancement of our historical attributes and the serious financial commitments to rehabilitation, we can only hope that following receipt of this testimony today -- you will see there is obviously a need for your assistance. This is to ensure the playing field remains even, that the rules of the game don't change once the whistle has blown, that the interests of local communities (who are attempting to cooperate with federal agencies) is given the utmost consideration in making the determination on where federal facilities should be sited. The testimony you will hear from others this morning will go into great detail as it relates to the overall efforts of local government and their perception of the activities of the GSA. I suspect in many cases what you hear will not be pleasant, but in addition to their hospitality, Montanans are also noted for their candor and their concern about their communities. So, what you will hear in most cases will not be sugarcoated.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to come to Montana. While you are here, we hope that you take the time to see some of the sights of the Big Sky Country and that you enjoy yourselves. Senator Baucus, we appreciate your assistance in your bringing your colleagues from the U.S. Senate to listen to our concerns.