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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Fargo Diversion Authority Ducks Unlimited 404 Permit Deal

Pay Off

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. It is really a simple test that allows any marginally intelligent person the ability to identify an unknown subject by observing that subject’s habitual characteristics.

In this case, the characteristics of the Fargo Diversion Authority and its leadership that protests and ducks answers anytime they are questioned about aspects of the proposed project.

What would give the public cause to question the integrity or motives of the Fargo Diversion Authority?

• downgraded a 100+ year flood to augment the cost benefit ratio.
• claim it’s a flood control project when it’s really a land grab.
• claim distributed retention won’t help, yet two studies indicate it will.
• claim Fargo is flood prone but drag their feet on internal flood protection.
• refuse fair compensation for water easements.
• claim impacts outside the “red box” don’t count, and won’t receive compensation.
• blame flood plain encroachment impact on a fictitious wet cycle.
• refused to study all alternatives, including combined alternatives.
• blame FEMA for rising flood insurance, yet continue to build in flood prone areas.
• claim there is no high ground to tie into, yet do the opposite at Oxbow, ND.
• stopping taking open comments and questions in public meetings in 2013.
• contrive EOE numbers to overstate flood conditions.
• leave the $1.8 billion cost unchanged for 4 years.
• claim that the OHB ring dike is an independent project.
• claim that an assessment district won’t really be taxed.
• fail to disclose 42.5′ in Fargo is near 400 yr FEMA regulatory flood protection.
• misrepresent EOE data as existing conditions.
• downgraded the 2009 (350 year) flood upstream to overstate the cost/benefit ratio.
• claim an open and transparent process, yet suppress information.
• paying $34,000/acre ( $587,180 ) to re-issue a 404 permit after it was withdrawn.
• claim they have all permits, yet have not received a permit from the MN DNR.

…the list goes on and on…

We live in a great country. A country where we have the right to question elected officials and re-dress government for wrongful actions.

In this case, the entire Fargo Dam and Diversion project is the wrongful action and worst solution for the Red River valley region. Fargo is championing the dam/diversion cause because they get to lay dibs on flood prone flood plain for Tier 2 expansion and the taxpayer picks up the bill.

So on June 10th, 2014, the WRDA bill was passed and within a week, the Fargo Diversion Authority sent a contingent to Omaha within the week, which included Oxbow Mayor Nyhof but failed to notify other community representatives from Hickson or Bakke, to discuss the 404 permit that was under review.

What is highly questionable about the meeting in Omaha, was the premise that public comments on the 404 permit application were closed April 21st, 2014 but the Fargo Diversion Authority, as per usual, chose to manipulate and circumvent the process that was in play for a more favorable outcome to their project without being open and transparent in the process. In fact, all of the tax dollars wasted in the Fargo Diversion Authorities attempt to claim the OHB project was independent related specifically to the 404 application that was under review. Where is the accountability for those tax dollars wasted over 5 month period?

One of the large reasons that the public does not trust the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is they will say one thing to appease the question of the day and claim they don’t have to follow that process because they have a regulation that says they don’t have to keep their prior promise.

So during the secretive closed door session with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, the agreements and terms that were reached are now coming out. The Fargo Diversion Authority cut a deal via the USACE with Ducks Unlimited for $587,180 to replace wetlands or they would not get their 404 permit. Sweet deal for Ducks Unlimited, bad deal for the taxpayers because due the impatience of the Fargo Diversion Authority and the Corps accelerated project schedule, the precedent for wetland property is $34,000 per acre, which would mean ag farmland, residential and commercial property are worth more respectively. Potentially raising the cost of the overall project to near $4 billion when all is said and done.

So when elected officials claim they are looking at an assessment district but don’t plan on ever sticking property owners with the bill…, what can one truly believe?

Fargo expects $450 million from the state of North Dakota.

Fargo/Cass is exploring $900 million in bonding, shored up by an “assessment district”.

It appears they are already $450 million shy of their outdated $1.8 billion dollar price tag…

Question their integrity… You’re DAM right!

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

[wpdm_file id=6]

Joel Heitkamp: Was the Omaha Corps of Engineers permit a permit that once the WRDA bill was passed you could qualify for now that otherwise you would have to go a different route?
Darrell Vanyo: …uhhh… Yes, my understanding is that it’s a 404 permit…uhh, and there’s a subsection called a regal…which is RGL…I’m not sure what it stands for…, regal nine eighty eight…, I believe it’s a subsection…, uhh…, (clears throat) so.., that…, permit…uhhh…, (clears throat) came about as a result of authorization.
Darrell Vanyo: We.., just…, kind of a FYI…uhhh, we…, you never know…, anything until you have it in hand…, uh, the permitting process and all that, I mean…, from our conversation with Colonel Cross in Omaha we felt that pretty good that things were gonna go okay…, but…, not, not so much that things could start…, doing anything…, over, you know…, suggest in any way that.., it was going to happen by June 20th.., date…, was a date…, (clears throat) was a date that we felt that.., they could work towards…, and so (cough)…, ummm.., that day before.., uhhh, Thursday I had a conversation…, with uhhh.., one of the…, uh, people in Omaha office, not Colonel Cross…, just asking if…, (cough) they thought that Colonel Cross might be signing it, soon?

(cough) The response I got was he wasn’t in on Thursday but expect he’d be in on Friday, and if anything happened it would probably be then. So…, we had anticipation but we didn’t have anything with certainty…, ummm…, so…, and y’know and I know that contractors are chomping at the bit because they wanted to get going, on a, on a major project so…, uhhh, I’m not the one that talked to them…but…uhhh, they were willing to be there and…, staging equipment for…, we anticpated to be…, permit signing process then uhhh…, y’know…, we elected to go ahead with that.


404 Pay Off

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

[wpdm_file id=7]

Bruce Spiller: We got the Corps 404 permit was issued on the 20th of June, um, on this first page highlighted one of the conditions of the permit is to, um, secure replacement wetlands, um, credits through, um, Ducks Unlimited North Dakota in lieu of fee program. Um, 17.27 acres um, is required by that permit. We have to have that within 30 days of the, um, issuance of the permit so, um, by essentially the 18th or 19th of this month. Um, there is some backup correspondence, letters from Ducks Unlimited saying it is available. Letters from Cass County requesting those from Ducks Unlimited. The cost is $34,000 per acre so the math works out to $587,180 that we need a check for to send to Ducks Ulimited.
Pat Zavoral: can we get an appraisal on that?
Bruce Spiller: What’s that
Pat Zavoral: can we get an appraisal on that?
Bruce Spiller: You just get what they, what they sell it for
Mark Brodshaug: Is there an alternative to do another mitigation or it’s Ducks Unlimited or no permit?
Bruce Spiller: correct, when we were in final phase with the Corps we tried to get this moved now uhh, now that we have authorization to try to get mitigation because we are going to have extra wetlands on the whole project, um, and tried to get it to separate it and they basically came back with we wouldn’t get a permit if we didn’t go to this.


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One Response to “ Fargo Diversion Authority Ducks Unlimited 404 Permit Deal ”

  1. Uhh– What would expect, uhh—they are taking their lead from our so called uhh “commander in chief”. Uhh– The corruption in government from the top down is beyond uhh–

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