Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date: October 10th, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
Editorial Team, Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Moorhead has been supportive of Fargo’s flood control efforts to the point of agreeing to contribute upwards of 100 million dollars and taking public hits for backing a plan that has little if any benefit for their constituents. The sacrifice demanded of Moorhead by Fargo’s leaders has grown in size and shape. What was once a moderately priced simple diversion that fully protected the FM Metro has morphed into a multi-billion dollar scheme to develop 50 square miles of rural ND flood plain. The expanded plan requires a dam that floods 20,000 acres of Minnesota including the communities of Comstock and Wolverton. The sacrifice demanded of Minnesota residents is necessary, not for Fargo’s protection, but only for Fargo’s future development.
Moorhead, having supported their neighbors west of the river, have yet again been assaulted by Fargo’s media. A recent article again takes aim at MN residents. They are criticized for being trashy and backward and described as “more than sad.” Suggesting that they have only themselves to blame for their lagging development, they are castigated for failing to take advantage of their natural advantages and lectured on what they should or should not be doing.
Critics ignore the sacrifice Moorhead residents are making of their biggest natural advantage: development land above the regulatory flood plain free of flooding, mitigation cost and flood insurance requirements. Rather than compete with Fargo over future development, Moorhead is politically and economically subordinating its interests to the interests of Fargo. Moorhead is helping to subsidize Fargo’s development of its low lying flood plain and sacrificing its own advantage in the process. Moorhead’s reward: ill treatment by Fargo’s media. The relationship between these two cities fits firmly within the definition of “dysfunctional.” Moorhead’s continued support of Fargo’s plan may well result in the flooding of large areas of rural Minnesota, including the communities of Comstock and Wolverton.
Perhaps it’s time for Minnesota people to withdraw their support for Fargo’s diversion. Their sacrifice is neither necessary nor appreciated.