For those of us who were there at the Diversion Authority Meeting July 11, the issue was not about communications. “Moorhead City Councilwoman and authority member Nancy Otto said the communication issues are real and extend to elected officials in the metro area.”
Mayor Walaker said the Diversion Authority has three PR groups.
If three cannot get out the message, maybe, Mr Mayor, the problem is the message.
The issue front and center which the Diversion Authority and the Fargo Forum want to hide is that Moorhead officials question spending Moorhead taxpayer money on a project that is not needed to protect Moorhead and may even not happen.
Fargo expects Minnesota to spend 100 million dollars more to flood out more of Minnesota! If Moorhead spends the money and the project falls through who will reimburse Moorhead for the money spent? Minnesota has spent 100 million dollars to protect Moorhead.
Every dollar Moorhead gives to Fargo is dollars for services taken from Moorhead taxpayers and given to Fargo to compete against Moorhead.
Mr. Mayor do you need 5 PR firms to make this thing fly?
Pursuant to Section 107 of the US Copyright Code Title 17
Above Commentary In Response To The Following Article
|Diversion board may look at airing meetings in Moorhead
July 11th, 2012 – by: Kyle Potter
Mayor Dennis Walaker on Thursday fought back against the perception that local diversion leaders haven’t done enough to keep the public up-to-date on changes to the project.
In a frustrated speech during a monthly meeting of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority, Walaker said the board has “provided adequate information to the public” about progress on the proposed 36-mile channel that would divert floods around the metro area.
“The information is there if people want it, and we’ll make efforts again to try to get it to them,” he said.
That may mean broadcasting diversion board meetings on public television in Moorhead, an idea floated during Thursday’s meeting. Diversion consultant Eric Dodds said the meetings have been broadcast on public TV in Fargo since the authority’s conception.
Streaming meetings on the Internet may also be an option, Dodds said.
Moorhead City Councilwoman and authority member Nancy Otto said the communication issues are real and extend to elected officials in the metro area.
Otto reiterated the Moorhead City Council’s desire to get a quarterly update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other diversion leaders, and said other Moorhead city officials are already working to schedule those update sessions.
Otto said better communication will be the key to tackling what she called “misconceptions” about the diversion and its necessity to help protect the area from a 500-year flood.
The diversion board will soon set its budget for the coming year with the ability to spend an extra $30 million on design. The extra capacity for design costs, which have already hit
$30 million, required approval of the diversion’s local sponsors – a proposal some members of the Moorhead City Council had opposed.
Chief among the concerns in Moorhead was how Minnesota will cover its share of the project. Some Moorhead council members say they worry that the state won’t come through, ultimately leaving the city liable for the costs.
Moorhead City Councilman Mark Hintermeyer said at a City Council meeting Monday that the state Legislature won’t engage until Congress authorizes the project.
The U.S. Senate authorized the diversion in May, but it’s still awaiting authorization in the House.
The project will cost an estimated $1.8 billion total, with about $810 million to be covered by the federal government.
The Diversion Authority is expected to discuss its budget in August and then take it up for approval at its September meeting.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502