Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date:
October 31st, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
JPA Editorial Team
Tonight we’ll hear knocks on our doors from small children dressed to scare and amuse us. Their shouts of “trick or treat” are a delightful contrast to scaring away devils and demons on All Hallows Eve.
If we treat them with kindness – in this case candy – they won’t do their evil deeds to our houses and property.
The Fargo Diversion Authority is carrying on a much more sinister plan this day. They are coming to Richland and Wilkin county doors saying “trick or trick.” Their line, spoken by Aaron Snyder from the U.S. Army Corps is, “we want your land, or we’ll take it from you.” That’s exactly what he told Richland and Wilkin County Commissioners a year and a half ago. The key word in all this is “land.” Fargo developers want to carve 25,000 acres out of the floodplain so they can build houses and developments.
The Corps study document says the diversion project will add $30,000 per acre to the value of the converted flood plain land. It’s not surprising the Fargo Homebuilders Association members lined the hearing rooms in Bismarck last winter to support this project. It’s not surprising they have been inundating our elected officials with pleas to have the project passed.
Everyone supports a flood control project for Fargo.
Everyone also knows that an effective flood control project can be constructed without the massive flooding of rural residents of Minnesota and North Dakota.
It’s disappointing that so many trusted elected officials are willing to turn a blind eye instead of looking for the right thing. It’s as if we are still enslaved to the ritual of dancing around a midnight bonfire with masks and noisemakers, maintaining the tradition of political expediency and profit, over enlightened accountability and ethics.
The responsible solution is simple – quit building in the flood plain. Protect a reasonable area to preserve our community’s economy, use distributed storage throughout the basin to reduce the water in the river during floods and benefit the entire watershed. It doesn’t have to be “trick or trick,” it can be treat for almost everyone.