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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Hogs at the Trough

Hogs at the Trough
The Forum Editorial Board misses the mark again!

In true mouthpiece fashion, the Fargo Forum heralds commencement of the $70+ million OHB project, including a brand new swimming pool, clubhouse, Robert Trent Jones designer course holes and relocation of nearly half the city of Oxbow…, BEFORE completing internal flood protection to safeguard Fargo taxpayers.

Like calling the hogs to the trough…

Here is the editorial with commentary:

Forum editorial: Good news for Oxbow ring dike
Jun 24, 2014 by: Forum Editorial Staff

Despite a nuisance lawsuit, earth work was started this week on a ring dike to protect Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke in North Dakota from waters that might be backed up when the Fargo-Moorhead diversion is operational. Moreover, those communities, Oxbow in particular, will be protected from major flooding whether or not the diversion is built. In that regard, it’s a stretch to try to make the case that the ring dike is an integral element of the diversion. Yet, diversion opponents keep trying.


Singling out “Oxbow” in particular underscores the immediate political slant of the Forum editorial.

Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke are already well protected against major flooding. Hickson and Bakke did not flood in 2009 and Oxbow, ND has implemented flood protection measures higher than the near 350 year flood event in 2009. The major cause for flooding in Oxbow in 2009 was problem with their storm sewer system which has since been corrected.

Although diversion proponents are quick attack Oxbow’s $1.6 million dollar shoring up its flood protection as “not certifiable”, there are three major questions that loom in the balance.

1) why was non-certifiable flood protection permitted by the county or state?

2) with only 5 or 6 homes along Schnell Drive remaining in the regulatory flood plain is a nearly $70 million dollar solution fiscally responsible.

3) if roads are not considered certifiable flood protection, yet offer a regulatory flood plain benefit to properties, how can Oxbow’s $1.6 million dollar flood protection offer less net benefit?

Perhaps the most laughable and clearly incorrect statement by the Fargo Forum is suggesting the ring dike IS NOT an integral element of the overall diversion project.

USACE states OHB Part of Overall Project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Position on OHB Project - Click for Full Document

How “ironic” and “convenient”…

Forum Editorial Staff: To their credit, the majority of Oxbow’s leaders and residents pushed hard for the ring dike. When completed, the protection will guarantee the city south of Fargo will not have to deal with eroding property values, skyrocketing flood insurance premiums, inundated roads and the disruptions that come with high water.


“To there credit”…, they have to be joking…!

Not one legal vote was conducted in the formulation of the OHB ring-dike-levee project.

As for “eroding property values”; any loss of value is more accurately tied to the Fargo Diversion Authority announcing in Nov 2010 that impacts of the proposed project would be moved upstream and directly impact upstream communities.

Fargo Diversion Authority imbeciles actually believe that creating a negative impact can be cured by creating a greater negative impact and labeling it a solution. Mayor Jim Nyhof listed his home “for sale” and it languished without sale for 4 months.

105 Oxbow Drive buyout expense – $216.401.85 and net cost after sale $35,411.08
121 Oxbow Drive buyout expense – $375,581.20 and net cost after sale $212,963.41

Anyone with the ability to add and subtract can see that a $248,374.49 loss on these two properties is not a robustly rebounding real estate market for the communities of Oxbow, ND.

View Fargo Diversion Authority Land Expense

As for “skyrocketing flood insurance premiums”; 98 percent of the homes in Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke are not in peril “skyrocketing flood insurance premiums” because they exist ABOVE the 100 year regulatory flood plain. Any risk associated to the alleged “skyrocketing flood insurance premiums” would be come as a result of man-made impacts – such as the proposed ring dike or Fargo dam and diversion project.

Forum Editorial Staff: Opponents of the diversion have seized upon the ring dike work in their effort – unsuccessful thus far – to stop the larger regional flood protection project. Even the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources concedes it has no jurisdiction in North Dakota, but the agency is pressing on with a “study,” and is still making noises as if the DNR had jurisdiction.


On the contrary! Upstream interests are objecting to a wholly unnecessary project around Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke and an un-ethical manipulation of the 404 process by the Fargo Diversion Authority, Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Minnesota residents and the Minnesota DNR have a justified right to protect their interests. The Minnesota DNR outlined their concerns repeatedly from the outset of the project proposal, however, their concerns have been summarily dismissed – which is directly related to why they are conducting their own EIS and whether or not they will permit a Class 1 High Hazard dam to be constructed on the MN side of the Red River.

Forum Editorial Staff: In one of two lawsuits, opponents hope to secure an injunction to stop ring dike construction. If they should be successful, project supporters should demand – and get – a hefty bond from them to cover expenses of idling equipment while a judge decides if a temporary injunction should be made permanent. After all, those filing for an injunction should be accountable for the fallout.


On the contrary! No bond should be required at all. Fargo Diversion Authority actions thus far have been muli-faceted attempts to prejudice the project, components and funding rather that enter into any dialogue of amicable solution.

Forum Editorial Staff: Opponents of the diversion have said repeatedly they don’t want to stop the project, merely modify it. As sensible as that sounds, their actions contradict their rhetoric. Everything they have done to date is aimed at scuttling the diversion, thus putting the lie to their “modify” talk. And every time the Diversion Authority proposed changes to accommodate some of the opponents’ legitimate concerns, the hand of cooperation was slapped away.


On the contrary! The continual pro-diversion rhetoric oozing from the Fargo Diversion Authority propaganda machine is that their solution is the only solution and any combined solution will not be discussed.

In reality, Fargo could easily protect the city that exists by completing internal protections like other Red River Valley cities located on the channel like Wahpeton-Breckenridge, Moorhead and Grand Forks-East Grand Forks.

Fargo’s obsession with its encroachment into the last natural flood plain is behind the entire ruse that is the Fargo Diversion Authority.

Forum Editorial Staff: Project opponents are hurling buckets of mud against the wall in the hope something will stick. The lawsuit to halt ring dike work is more of the same. The courts should put an end to it.


If the Fargo Diversion Authority were not concerned that they have overstepped their bounds, then why would they feel compelled to spend more taxpayer dollars to file a motion to prevent opponents from protecting their own interests?

In the end, if Imperial Fargo/Cass win, they set a precedent for all future land grabs.

If the upstream opponents win, they gain nothing but the ability to return to their lives and have no additional enrichment as a result.

When it comes down to who is really being honest about things…

Forum Editorial Staff: Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

Forum editorials represent the abandonment of any journalistic integrity and fiscal accountability of elected officials.

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