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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Disinformation from Fargo Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo

Darrell Vanyo, DPAC Hearing, March 31st, 2015

Darrell Vanyo, DPAC Hearing, March 31st, 2015

Having spoken with people that grew up with Darrell Vanyo, from grade school to high school to college, a common thread intertwines the Darrell that “they used to know”.

Old classmates and fraternity brothers described a handsome, well liked “regular” guy.

However, the conversation takes a sharp turn when the topic of the Fargo dam and diversion comes up.

The most common reaction is a shaking head and puzzlement over where the guy they thought they knew…, went?

In a recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article by Jennifer Brooks, the final line sums up the past five to six years with relative certainty.

“There are many things we need to do,” said Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo. “From my perspective, we can’t put everything on hold for years [while Minnesota studies the issue.] It kind of puts us in a precarious positions. How in the world can we sit and do nothing?”

The three sentences above sum up the disinformation Darrell is peddling for the diversion authority.

The only priority Fargo and Cass county should have at present is completing permanent internal flood protection to protect the city that exists, not the city Fargo wants to expand “into”, which is the last natural flood plain south of the city.

Think of the natural flood plain south of Fargo as a cake pan full of water. Fargo and Cass county, in true bully fashion, are dropping a brick into that pan and forcing the water elsewhere.

Then using the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers to make wildly false claims of Fargo being more flood prone.

Even worse is their use of misdirection with an EOE (Expert Opinion Elicitation) to pump up a cost benefit ratio, threat of rising FEMA 100 year flood level and mandatory flood insurance to lead people away from the fact that encroachment and water displacement from natural flood plain is unnaturally augmenting river crests and flows.

Natural Flood Plain encroachment and development since 1969
changed the 100 year BFE and increased Red River crests over
25.2 inches.

Fargo’s newly elected Mayor Tim Mahoney defiantly protested on September 3rd, 2014 in front of to MN Governor Mark Dayton that it’s Fargo’s right to expand into the flood plain (despite violation of Executive Order 11988).

There is nothing being put on hold…, because there is no “forgone conclusion” that the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion has to be built. In fact, the only place a “forgone conclusion” exists in within the myopic agenda of the Fargo Diversion Authority and pro-development ilk.


The only precarious position that exists is further encroachment into the last natural flood plain south of the city. Every cubic foot of water displaced from the natural flood plain increases risk to adjacent property owners in terms of higher BFE (base flood elevation) and mandatory flood insurance requirements.

2011-09-28 Letter from FEMA to Darrell Vanyo (Flood Insurance Rate Map) (button)

Click to View FEMA letter to Darrell Vanyo

Download FEMA letter to Darrell Vanyo – 1094k [pdf]

Internal flood protection isn’t any secret. It’s been needed since 1969. A good reminder came in 1997…, then again in 2009.

“How in the world can we sit and do nothing?” – Darrell Vanyo

Yes Darrell, why did pro-diversion ilk pump $168+ million into the dam and diversion, $60+ million into Oxbow, $10.5 million into the Oxbow clubhouse…, without turning a shovel of dirt for the diversion channel and simultaneously redirecting funding away from permanent internal flood protection, that could protect the city that exists from the “next flood” that those impatient North Dakota officials want?

The greatest downfall of the Fargo Diversion Authority is their inability to understand or appreciate the fundamental difference between want and need.


1. have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for.

“I want a dam and diversion”


1. require (something) because it is essential or very important.

“I need flood protection now”

Want: fosters new city expansion and and benefits developers on the backs of constituents.

Need: protects the city that exists and benefits constituents with permanent flood protection.

History has a way of judging legacies, harshly…

So which is it…, greed or need?



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One Response to “ Disinformation from Fargo Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo ”

  1. Vanyo and Co sat on their hands after the ’97 and ’09 floods. Once they got the Army Corps to agree to go along with their plan to double the size of the Diversion – they purposely delayed Fargo’s internal protection so as to not diminish the effectiveness of their “sky is falling” hype. This I have from a high placed city employee. Proof is also in the 80 million Vanyo has spent on Oxbow – every voter should take a drive by the new golf course construction – to get a feel for Vanyo and Co’s priorities.

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