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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

$105 and $247 Million Dollar Questions

Fargo, ND - Mayor Tim Mahoney

Fargo, ND – Mayor Tim Mahoney

Financial reporting within the Dec 2015 Fargo Diversion Authority packet indicates the Cass County Joint Water District (CCJWRD) as handling nearly 43 percent of the reported $247 million dollars in expenditures.

Oddly, prior to May 2015, there is little to no detail on who, what, when, where, why or how the CCJWRD is handling these dollars.

Despite several attempts to obtain transparency on the overall handling of the public tax dollars involved in the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project, there are massive gaps in the details of how public tax dollars are being spent.

On Monday, December 14, 2015 Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney was quoted in news story that appeared briefly on the KFGO Radio website, but was deleted shortly thereafter, indicating a new project cost estimate from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (around $400 million higher) expected Tuesday, December 15, 2015 coming in about $2.2 BILLION.

The mere fact that the news story disappeared raises several questions. Especially when it gets replaced with a fluff piece claiming further delays in the new cost estimate which was originally due around August 2015.

Even more disconcerting is the suggestion by Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney that he expects the forthcoming updated cost estimate to be lower “because of a public-private partnership called P3” when voters have not yet approved a P3 funding option by any legal ballot measure.

I’m sorry Mr Mahoney, how dumb do you think taxpayers really are? Paying interest and principal on a borrowed $800 million that would have been a gift from the federal government…, isn’t a savings.

The Fargo Diversion Authority talking heads simply avoid the hard questions when it comes to the financials because that is where the entire Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project falls apart. The higher the costs, the lower the benefit to cost ratio.

This morning I fired off another email and CC’d the North Dakota Attorney General, in attempt to compel Keith Berndt (Cass County Administrator), Mike Montplaisir (Cass County Auditor) and Mark Brodshaug (Chairman – Cass County Joint Water Resource District) into providing financial transparency with the requested information.

The public has a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent…

Here is a copy of the email:

————————————- Original Message ————————————-
Subject: FOIA REQUEST: CCJWRD Expenditures
From: Marcus Larson
Date: Sat, December 19, 2015 8:26 am
To: BerndtK@casscountynd.gov
MontplaisirM@casscountynd.gov
markbrodshaug@gmail.com
Cc: ndag@nd.gov
tutran@forumcomm.com
joel.heitkamp@kfgo.com
jthomas@wday.com
————————————————————————————————–

Gentlemen,

On June 2, 2015 I presented a 4th Request for DA Expenditures which
included a request for a Cass County Joint Water Resource District
expenditure report detailing, payee/recipient, expenses encumbered, paid
and pending that relate to the CCJWRD cumulative vendor total listed in
the FM Diversion Authority Cumulative Vendor Payments Since Inception
report from the monthly DA packet.

To date, I have not received the FOIA requested information pertaining to
the CCJWRD expenditures that now reflect ($105,267,376.30) in approved
contracts, which the CCJWRD has received ($73,298,271.38) in
reimbursements with remaining outstanding encumbrances of
($31,969,104.92).

The CCJWRD is handling nearly 43% of the reported $247 million in
expenditures in the Dec 2015 Diversion Authority agenda packet, with
little or no transparency prior to May 2015 on how these tax dollars were
handled.

Under the North Dakota Open Records Statute, N.D.C.C. §44-04-18.10, I am
requesting copies of financial records that pertain to the CCJWRD
expenditures reflecting the $105,267,376.30 amount disseminated in the
Dec 2015 Diversion Authority agenda packet.

The expenditure information requested is publicly funded by taxpayers and
there is no rational argument or legal precedent to delay or deny this
request.

Please provide an Excel ledger report (.csv or .xls) detailing the following:

Account Number
Check Date
Check Number
Vendor Name
Transaction Amount
Description
Project Number
Project Description

Approved Contract
Liquidated
Outstanding Encumbrance
Stated Purpose of Exenditure

Awaiting your reply,

Marcus Larson

CC: Wayne Stenehjem, NDAG

————————————- Original Message ————————————-
Subject: 4th Request for DA Expenditures
From: Marcus Larson
Date: Tue, June 2, 2015 10:39 am
To: BerndtK@casscountynd.gov
MontplaisirM@casscountynd.gov
markbrodshaug@gmail.com
Cc: tutran@forumcomm.com
joel.heitkamp@kfgo.com
jthomas@wday.com
————————————————————————————————–

To whom it may concern,

This is a fourth request for an excel spreadsheet or electronic ledger of
expenditures since inception of the DA? The expenditures listed in the DA
packets are obviously stored electronically and therefore should be
retrieve-able in the same manner. (.csv format would be preferred)

The quality of scanned documents in older DA packets compromises the
readability and legibility. A .csv or excel file would address the
earlier deficiencies contained in the DA packets.

Also included in this request:

Item 1) An updated OHB expenditure report detailing payee/recipient,
expenses encumbered, paid and pending.

Item 2) A Cass County Joint Water Resource District expenditure report
detailing, payee/recipient, expenses encumbered, paid and pending that
relate to the CCJWRD cumulative vendor total listed in the FM Diversion
Authority Cumulative Vendor Payments Since Inception report from the
monthly DA packet.

Looking forward to your reply,

Marcus Larson

 

Views: 644

One Response to “ $105 and $247 Million Dollar Questions ”

  1. Since this is taxpayers funds, is needs to be opened up for all to see…If there is nothing to hide, no problem…..It has an unattractive oder…..

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