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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Defending Richland and Wilkin counties January 24th, 2013

Hired Guns - Fargo Dam and FM Diversion

Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date:
January 24th, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News

Republished with permission from:
Trana Rogne, Board member of MnDak Upstream Coalition

We are seeing the real life impacts resulting from the ability of a government agency to contract with a federal agency, in this case the Corps of Engineers, to develop a project for the sole benefit of the same government agencies, Fargo/Cass County. In the case of the FM Diversion, the government of Fargo/Cass County under the auspices of the Diversion Authority “contracted” with the Corps to design a plan to protect themselves from flooding in the Fargo metropolitan area. In the course of the planning process it was determined that the plan could be expanded to protect even more land from flooding.

This provides for tax payer subsidized growth in Fargo’s flood plain. This new “protected area” is conveniently part of the 2007 growth plan for the city of Fargo’s intended development area.

The FM Diversion plan even brings the powers of the federal government to do the bidding of the local sponsor by the project becoming a “federal” project. This alliance achieves the power to negatively impact all upstream governments; cities, counties, townships and their tax payers. It tramples on the right of all citizen rights. It asks for local, state and federal tax dollars to promote growth of the city of Fargo. It even goes as far as to tax those who are negatively impacted by the plan, to pay for the plan themselves. This is done with higher taxes, maintenance districts and assessments to pay for a plan to flood them out. Also forced on the upstream communities are a loss of farm income, restriction on their own development potential loss of tax base and forced re-locations.

At some time we must look at the ethics of using tax payer dollars to hire a federal agency to do the bidding of cities for economic development using state and federal tax dollars. The time is now.

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3 Responses to “ Defending Richland and Wilkin counties January 24th, 2013 ”

  1. Those of us familiar with the project know that, although the Army Corps is federal agency, Fargo in fact dictated the size, features and location of the dam/diversion and reservoir.

    Fargo rejected Corps proposals that were more cost effective and did not require the dam and reservoir. The role of the Corps on this project is more like a home improvement contractor than a government agency. They are even compensated by their client.

    The Corps took, as a contact fee, 40 % of Wahpeton’s project. Assuming the projected cost of this boondoggle doesn’t change, Army Corps will pocket 800 million dollars.

    Anyone vaguely familiar with the Army Corps track record for estimating project costs knows that the 2 billion will end up being 4 or 5 billion. All to subsidize Fargo’s future development of the flood plain south of Davies High. Good article – well done Trana.

  2. Aaron Snyder, project manager for the Army Corps testified before the ND House today that it would only take 60 million to complete Fargo’s internal dikes and levies to bring Fargo’s level of protection up to 42.5 feet.

    That is just shy of the FEMA 500 year flood level of protection and nearly 2 feet above the greatest flood in recorded history. So why is the City of Fargo going to give Oxbow, a city of 100 houses, $50,000,000.00 of taxpayer money?

    Oh yeah: the private golf course needs some help. Doesn’t that come to roughly $500,000 per household?

  3. Two feet above the highest recorded flood in history without teh diversion and dam…

    I have read that the difference between 100 and 500 year is inches not feet.

    if this is true, inches vs feet separates a 100 and 500 year level, then what level of protection is going to be provided with the diversion/dam when its added to 2 feet higher than the highest flood ever protection that Fargo will soon have?

    Is that 2′, 4′, 6′ or more feet over the 2 feet more than history? How much higher than the highest recorded level is required when inches separates 100 and 500 year levels? And at what cost to taxpayers?

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