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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Fargo Cass Leaders Resort to Hypocrisy and Misinformation

Elm Street Fargo 2011 Looking North; NDSU Archive

Elm Street Fargo 2011 Looking North; NDSU Archive

On October 12th, 2014 the Fargo Forum touched on one of the many hypocrisies that Fargo uses to manipulate things to their advantage.

Fargo City Engineer, April Walker: While raising Elm Street by filling the ground there with gravel and dirt could be the cheapest option, city staff didn’t explore that option because the fill would affect the flow of the river and wouldn’t be allowed under floodplain laws, Walker said. It’s also not clear if the soil there can support the weight of the fill without triggering a landslide.

“..wouldn’t be allowed under floodplain laws…?” Isn’t ironic that Fargo is concerned about the small section of Elm street that parallels the Red River, yet rezones miles of natural flood plain south of the city, that exponentially reduces vital flood plain capacity that buffers Fargo flooding. Even more ironic is the concern over structural integrity of the ground in hindsight which could be addressed with the application of appropriate engineering practices and construction methods.

The area along Elm street is not a new issue. NDSU Case Study #4 (read more…) outlines several of the problems associated with Elm street and touches on why river setbacks of dikes and buildings are important. The article also touches on why flood-able areas, like the natural flood plain south of Fargo, are vital for temporary basins to attenuate flood-waters.

Fargo’s era of political dominance and influence may very well come to a close. Largely due to the blatant hypocrisy of their officials, heavy handed tactics, irresponsible development of natural flood plains and near toxic approach in how neighboring communities are treated with disrespect.

The Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project became a stage for Fargo and Cass leaders to do a fair amount of chest-thumping and passive aggressive ploys for sympathy about flood woes. Yet Fargo, etal, lacked the foresight to appreciate that many others cities in North Dakota and Minnesota have suffered actual losses and rose to the challenge and become better cities as a result. Ironically, what Fargo/Cass feels is their trump card to justify a multi-billion dollar boondoggle, is essentially nothing more than them whining without addressing two fundamental issues.

1) completing internal flood protection to protect the city that exists.

2) restricting natural flood plain encroachment.

So many hypocrisies, so little time…

West Fargo is denied a western alignment because it would induce future growth. Fargo is granted an alignment outside their city limits that supports future growth.
Oxbow gets a ring dike, new swimming pool, new clubhouse and new course holes. Fargo residents get new FEMA flood insurance requirements due to flood plain encroachment, water displacement and lack of internal flood protection.
Moving Elm street 450 feet west could address the Elm street issue but may force the El Zagal golf course to close. Fargo is not willing to treat El Zagal and Oxbow golf courses with the equal considerations.
Dikes and Levees won’t work in Fargo. Dike and Levees are perfect for all other areas in the Red River Valley.
Fargo residents are at risk of FEMA flood insurance requirements. Fargo has failed to complete internal flood protection since 1997.
Floods are becoming higher and more frequent. Fargo has not provided a study of flood plain encroachment, water displacement and the effects on rising crests, flood frequency and Red River flooding.
Minnesota does not deserve equal representation on the Fargo Diversion Authority. Fargo Diversion Authority actions take Minnesota territory for a staging and storage reservoir which allows Fargo access to natural flood plain for future development.
CAPX 2020 Power Lines alignments were not determined by the diversion alignment. Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker sent two letters to ND Public Service Commission detailing concerns about locating the CAPX 2020 power lines inside the protected area and impairing Fargo development.
Letter 1
Letter 2
The Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project was designed using the best science available. An alternate benchmark using higher Corps EOE data was modeling at flows two times greater than recorded history to support a goal oriented projected theory that a wet cycle and not natural flood plain encroachment will cause greater future flooding.
A 500 year flood could reach 46.7 feet at Fargo. A flood level of 46.7 feet does not occur without the construction of the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project, which facilitates a massive reduction of water capacity of the natural flood plain augmenting modeling used as the basis for the overall project.
Sales taxes were supposed to fund Fargo’s share of the project. Fargo Diversion Authority has utilized loans for sales tax shortfalls.
Property Assessments will not be used to fund the Fargo Dam and Diversion Project. Property Assessment valuations were utilized as collateral for Fargo Diversion Diversion Authority loans and could be potentially imposed without voter consent of the assessment.
Moving the project alignment north will affect more properties. The same properties south of 52nd ave are already affected by flooding as evidenced in 1997, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2009. Yet, Fargo and Cass county continue to issue building permits into naturally flood prone areas.
Fargo claims it will work with MN Fargo is attempting to preempt MN permitting and authorization.
OHB Ring Dike project is an “independent” feature. OHB Ring Dike project is Part of the Project but also an “independent” feature.
When you rink dike a home or community they are not impacted. Ring diking a home or community can affect property value and increase the risk of internal flooding.
Fargo cannot address Elm stree because if would affect the flow of the river and wouldn’t be allowed under floodplain laws. Fargo continues flood plain encroachment, reducing vital flood plain buffer and increasing the flow and crest of the river.

The list could go on and on…

Calling Fargo/Cass elected officials and project proponents lying sacks of horse manure would be impolite, however, showcasing their hypocrisy and abject defiance to fairness and consistency in their policies and public relations message relating to flood protection and water displacement is fair game.

Fargo/Cass manipulates their ability to act hypocritically as a key strategic resource. They feign an embellished flood threat and apply a healthy does of disingenuous sincerity when it comes to providing flood control for a city that has waited since 1997 for flood protection. This “two faced development game” has placed Fargo/Cass residents in harms way with with FEMA flood insurance requirements, which could have been avoided by simply completing internal flood protection(s) instead of irresponsibly focusing on protecting future development in the natural flood plain south of the city.

Despite Fargo officials and other proponents denials of the project being a “growth plan”, they are finding it more difficult to deny the gaps between their actions and their words.

North Dakota and Minnesota lawmakers are questioning the legitimacy of Fargo/Cass Diversion Authority actions with “certain” Fargo/Cass officials ignorantly considering it irrelevant.

Fargo/Cass has practiced hypocrisy for some time now. They’ve long claimed the virtues of flood control while continuing flood plain encroachment and coerced some property owners into abandoning their properties under the guise of a greater good, only to provide greater development into areas that are historically flood prone.

The Fargo/Cass system of “flood control” needs a constant flow of money and fear to keep its gears turning. This is why they cozy up to politicians and pander votes wherever possible. This ensures that Fargo’s flood policies appear legitimate, which they regularly promote and claim, yet cannot impose their hegemony through force alone.

Rest assured the remaining state of North Dakota is getting tired of Fargo/Cass hyprocrisy, the states self proclaimed “economic engine”, showing up at the state capitol panhandling for money. So Fargo/Cass is faced with rather uncomfortable choices of moving its policies and its rhetoric closer to each other or resign its residents to suffer future consequences for that actions of irresponsible leaders turning a blind eye to the root of their problems.

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