Original Publication Date: September 5th, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
Editorial Team, Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
A good neighbor should never be taken for granted. Fargo is fortunate in its neighbors to the east. Moorhead and Clay County have loyally supported Fargo’s Diversion plans the past three years. Recent events however, have many of us questioning whether Moorhead is equally fortunate. Many are beginning to see that Fargo has crossed the line that divides a neighbor in need from a demanding bully.
The initial diversion plan protected 31 square miles of the FM Metro, benefiting Moorhead by protecting its low lying areas. Over the past 4 years Moorhead has spent over 100 million dollars improving it dikes and levees to the extent that the diversion is no longer needed for its protection. Fargo has neglected its internal protection while at the same time ballooning its proposed diversion, making it more of a development plan by expanding the footprint to cover 71 square miles – none of which benefits Moorhead. Additionally, Fargo’s overblown plan now includes a high hazard dam and requires Minnesota, Clay and Wilkin Counties, to bear a disproportionate amount of the impacts. Fargo even expects Minnesota to pay 100 million dollars for the privilege of storing the water that normally pools in North Dakota, just south of Fargo. Finally, to add insult to injury, Fargo has heaped ridicule on Moorhead’s leaders when they dared to have a public discussion about the merits of the expanded dam and diversion.
Isn’t it time for Moorhead, Clay County and Minnesota to step back and take a strong look at Fargo’s agenda, and evaluate whether the clear lack of benefit justifies the impacts and costs to Minnesota residents.