Original Publication Date: July 25th, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
Editorial Team, Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
“It’s the government’s fault.” That’s what the Mayor of Fargo says. He was complaining that Moorhead is questioning whether they should pay twice the planning costs for the diversion that was originally quoted. Mayor Dennis Walaker says “It’s the Federal Government’s problem, and they are as dysfunctional as you can imagine.” Think of the outrage the Mayor must be feeling when their sister city has spent $100 million to get 100 year flood protection, and Fargo is trying to get everyone else to pay $2 billion for theirs. How can it be fair that Moorhead and West Fargo have room to grow, and Fargo has to force people to build in the flood plain? Apparently the Mayor thinks its Moorhead’s responsibility to cough up more money to help Fargo, even though they’ve already taken care of themselves.
But Moorhead needs to get in line with those who already owe Mayor Walaker and his cronies something. They and their hired Army Corps engineers have made it clear that the residents south of town owe them the rights to their homes and property. The farmer’s don’t really own their land, despite the fact that it’s been in their families for over a hundred years. The cemeteries don’t really have any value. It’s apparently no big deal to dunk them under six feet of water. And who could forget Army Corps project manager Aaron Snyder’s consolation to the commissioners of Richland and Wilkin Counties when he said “At least you will have some place to shop” if there’s a really big flood. Yup, we all owe Mayor Walaker a lot. Just get in line.
So, it’s the government’s fault. It has become the obligation of Washington, to bankroll a “Grand Solution” that is likely to double in construction costs, just like it’s planning costs, to cover for Fargo’s refusal to build their own dikes and protection. It’s Washington’s job to build four monstrous concrete river crossings that have never been accomplished in North America, so Fargo can stop people from building in Moorhead and West Fargo, and move to their fair city instead. Does anyone believe that this can be done on budget? How can the Mayor be critical of Moorhead or the federal government for raising questions?
I know I’ve seen a definition of “dysfunctional” before. I’ll bet Merriam-Webster still has one available.