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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Delores & Jay Kleinjen Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

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Delores and Jay Kleinjen Comments USACE FEIS Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

October 27, 2011

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
7701 Telegraph Road
Alexandria, VA 22315-3860

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing in opposition to the April 2011 Locally Preferred Plan (North Dakota Diversion with storage & staging) for flood control in the Red River Valley. We oppose the project for various reasons.
The following are some of the reasons:

1. Our home and property are in the “staging area” for your project. In other words, we stand to be affected by an increase in water levels; however, we are not considered in the “buyout” properties. We want to know just exactly what will happen when your “predictions” in the water levels are not accurate and we take on significantly MORE water than you “predicted” and we lose our home to flood water. What will the Corps do for us at that point???? The Army Corps has a history of not being accurate in their predictions. Earlier this spring, Valley City, ND, was in disaster mode due to the inaccurate predictions of snow pack and runoff from the Sheyenne and the mismanagement of Baldhill Dam. Later this past summer, Bismarck/Mandan and all points along the Missouri were flooding and in disaster mode because of mismanagement of water flow through numerous dams. Several articles have been written verifying the Corps mistakes in mismanagement. The Governor of North Dakota has demanded a review of the entire Army Corps’ management of the water which led to the flooding. The daily news detailed ineptness of the Corps management with regards to the Missouri River issues. We are aware of the notifications from the Burleigh County personnel requesting the Corps and the powers that be in Omaha to prepare the Garrison Dam for the water that was to come … with the request being made in February … and the request was totally ignored. Now the Corps wants to hang local officials for their mistake. In the mean time, look around and see how many lives have been affected!
2. The Kindred School District stands to lose a Significant (>25%) of its tax base and students. Who is going to make up for this loss? We are building a new school! Our neighboring school district (Richland) stands to lose approximately the same money/students.
3. The Army Corps knew they were going to use the upstream route prior to the Cass County sales tax vote. Our neighbor was approached by a Corps engineer about farm buyout costs in October 2010. Why was this hidden from the taxpayers until after the vote for the sales tax took place????? Isn’t it ironic that every time I purchase something in Fargo, I am helping to pay for our demise and the demise of our neighbors?
4. How are we going to be compensated for loss in property value? My taxes are staying the same; however, my value has dropped.
5. What about the impact on numerous roads/highways? Who is paying???
6. Where are you planning on relocating all the farmsteads impacted? Where will there be enough “dry” buildable land???
7. What about the cemeteries & churches? Who is paying to relocate the bodies and where is the “dry” land going to be to relocate the bodies & churches?
8. What happens when there is a breach in your “dam” and/or parts of your project??? You admit it will be catastrophic …. but we haven’t seen any solutions.
9. Where is the Sheyenne River water going to go when you have your proposed levy following Hwy 117 The City of Kindred will be flooded along with other farms ….. none of these properties are currently in the “affected” area.
10. Why weren’t all upstream communities/counties & commissions included in decision making process?
11. What about the impacts outside the staging area that the Corps acknowledges? What are the costs & assessments of these damages??
12. What about all the losses to the farmer?? How can you put a price tag on the loss of infinite income from crop production????
13. Why does the diversion line conveniently follow Fargo’s school district and extra-territorial lines???? Do you really think we are all stupid???
14. Where is the Federal government going to get the money to pay for this project? We are taxpayers. Can we separate our tax dollars so that they cannot be used to flood us and our neighbors??? We believe that Fargo is important. I work in Fargo. However, there is a bigger picture that needs to be looked at. Fargo has been successful in their flood fights. They need to follow Grand Forks and clean out the river corridor and build their protection along the river. Let the river flow the way nature intended. We know why they don’t want to do this. They are currently receiving BIG tax dollars from all of the high end homes on the river lots. It was recently decided that they aren’t going to buyout any more of those homes. They don’t want to lose their tax base, however, the rest of us are supposed to suffer! We believe the Corps better do their job and continue looking for a more feasible alternative.

Respectfully Submitted,

Delores & Jay Kleinjen
17121 54th St SE
Horace, ND 58047-9600

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