In a 19-2 vote on House Bill 1020, Friday, Feb 22nd, 2013 – the House Appropriations Committee recommends a “do pass” on HB 1020 which allows for up to $100 million in funding to Fargo to bring internal flood protection up to 42.5 feet.
It’s not the first time that Keith Berndt has blindly followed the Imperial Fargo/Cass agenda. It also underscores what Keith Berndt doesn’t understand about the proposed project and the lack of “support”, from Fargo residents, that Fargo/Cass has in their quest to encroach upon flood prone property – to flood non-flood prone property – for future development interest of Fargo.
However, as per usual, Imperial Fargo/Cass has looked at a substantial gift as though the glass were half empty.
The Fargo Forum reported February 25, 2013:
Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt:
“There’s no doubt, (they are) amendments intended to kill the diversion project,”
House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo:
“He can take that attitude if he wants, but he’s not right,”
It must be a strange feeling for Keith Berndt to not be able dictate terms to ensure the agenda at hand. Cass county has been in lockstep with Fargo for decades on projects and policies that, in many ways, run contrary to the greater good to the financial benefit of development corporation interests.
Without question, the first and foremost task at hand is to complete dikes, levees and flood walls within the city to ensure the residents of Fargo are properly protected against the augmented risks that Fargo/Cass has created by displacing water from the last natural flood plain into the Red River on the south side of the city.
Addressing one of Fargo’s weakest points in front of city hall along 2nd street should be high on the list. Once completed, Fargo would have little basis in maintaining a major flood threat issued at 30′, which would ease considerable anxiety for many residents.
Fargo and the Diversion Authority have a great opportunity to stay on task and complete overdue internal flood protection.
HB 1020 alleviates a minimum of $2,000 – $2,500 of tax assessment to each property of Fargo for flood protection.
What the state legislature is telling local officials is spend the money as it’s intended, not at will for buyouts, land speculations (like Cass county) and ring-dikes outside the city limits.