Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date:
Apr 9th, 2015
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
Dave Morken, Chair – MnDak Upstream Coalition
Folks are starting to see the lines of the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion converge. This is so, despite the one-sided reporting and full-throated editorial support from Fargo’s tiny media mogul. School districts are being redrawn to bus students from established south Fargo neighborhoods to the northside high school. The busing does not balance any present inequity, but prepares room for new sprawl development south of Davies High, in areas that were under water in 1997 and 2009.
Taxpayers in West Fargo got notice that their property will be encumbered at a greater rate than Fargo’s future flood plain dwellers. For some mysterious reason large parts of West Fargo get a greater benefit from the F-M Diversion than Fargo residents and should shoulder more of the load. West Fargo got no help for its diversion, but West Fargo properties are “benefited” more and will pay more for Fargo’s diversion than Fargo residents building in the areas to be drained by the proposed dam.
Cass County taxpayers receiving an assessment ballot and an “invitation” to support Fargo’s Diversion learned that the election is fixed. The un-elected Cass County Joint Water Board deciders stacked the deck Soviet-style, the vote is a sham and the outcome pre-determined.
Hundreds of Richland County residents got ballots describing the number of their acres to be flooded. Fargo calls them “easement acquisition” ballots. This comes as a big surprise to some as diversion proponents have long publicly and notoriously maintained that Richland County’s impacts will be next to nothing. One ballot-receiving farmstead owner lives south of Christine, 10 miles into Richland County.
The converging lines all point to a handful of leaders, many un-elected, making decisions to tax, take and flood without regard to state or county borders, democratic principles or rational policy. Developing Fargo’s flood-prone south is their goal – flood protection is their excuse.
Fortunately there is opposition. The Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, together with the MnDak Upstream Coalition, have maintained communication with Minnesota’s governor, elected representatives and the Department of Natural Resources. Our efforts to combat Fargo’s misinformation have resulted in strong support from all three. The Minnesota Attorney General, on behalf of the Minnesota DNR, has twice joined our side against Fargo in our federal lawsuit. The DNR will be weighing in on the dam later this year.
Standing up to Fargo’s Goliath is expensive. We are paying a lawyer, a lobbyist and an engineer to see that the facts are not covered up by Fargo’s teams of lawyers, lobbyists and engineers. We are holding our own, but we need your help.
The next six months will be critical.
Please help us fight by sending a contribution to the:
Mndak Upstream Coalition
c/o Pat Otto
PO Box 35
Christine, ND 58015