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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Hypocrites Define Fair Differently

Fargo, ND interim mayor Tim Mahoney still sporting his 2005 Harvard University commencement lanyard after 9 years.

Fargo, ND interim mayor Tim Mahoney sporting his 2005 Harvard University commencement lanyard Nov. 2014.

When hypocrites expect fairness, they really ought to reflect on what fairness really means.

In the aftermath of the 1997 flood, home development began springing up where water once stood. The communities of Wahpeton/Breckenridge and Grand Forks lost their flood fights…, yet Fargo beat the odds.

Beating those odds gave Fargo a greater sense of hubris to develop miles of natural flood plains while they simultaneously reduced the vital water storage connected to those natural flood plains.

In 1997, 4628 Timberline Drive did not exist. The area west of Rose Creek and Centennial school was a natural flood plain that held several feet of water as a result of Red River and overland flooding. Rose Creek golf course itself was a natural flood plain as recently as the early 90’s. Rose Coulee runs through the heart of Rose Creek which has been excessively burdened with water displacement from the natural flood plains that would help dissipate flood waters upstream of Fargo, ND.

The importance of this Timberline address is what it represents. It is the essence of Fargo arrogance, owned by interim Mayor Tim Mahoney.

Tim Mahoney is college educated, an accomplished surgeon and now interim mayor of Fargo, ND. One would think that with an impressive educational pedigree that some rational thought would have been applied when choosing a location for a home. Especially when every square foot of water displaced from that natural flood plain was relocated onto others. When accompanied with other natural flood plain encroachment since 1997, irresponsible development increased the Red River crest over 7.3 inches, comparing the 1997 peak discharge of 28,000 cfs to the same discharge in 2009. When comparing the 1969 peak of 25,300 cfs to the same discharge in 2009, the Red River crested 25.2 inches higher.

In short, what this mean is Fargo’s continued encroachment into the last natural flood plains adjacent to the city is a reckless, dangerous, unsustainable venture placing the entire metro area under the threat of greater future flood events.

Which makes the following quote “tragically amusing”…

“If we’re treated all fairly, I don’t have a problem with that.”
– Interim Mayor Tim Mahoney

 

It really has nothing to do with treating people fairly. This is about Fargo getting what Fargo wants at the expense of everyone else.

Imperial Fargo and pro-project proponents expect the entire state to prostrate itself to Fargo’s greatness. The self-proclaimed economic engine of the state is essentially trying to push its way to the front of the soup line to ensure they get their share, when more deserving areas of North Dakota may go without as a result.

Fargo has proven that it cannot be trusted with state money for flood control projects. Instead of completing permanent internal flood measures to protect the city that exists, it diverted money via the Fargo Diversion Authority and SE Cass Water Resource District on the contentious OHB project for new golf course holes, clubhouse, swimming pool and home relocates for a community that already survived a near 350 year flood in 2009.  It is tantamount to a person with a gambling addiction getting a loan from a bank for a specified purpose, cashing the bank’s check, then heading to the casino with ulterior motives.

State funded (approx one-half million) flood projects constructed in Oxbow 2010-2013 have greatly improved the flood protections for Oxbow, ND residents. According to Mayor Jim Nyhof, in a January 26th, 2011 letter to Terry Birkenstock – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – St. Paul district, he sang the praises of Oxbow’s near 500 year flood protection.

So why should Fargo be given more money from the state, when it has redirected funds to areas outside its jurisdictional boundaries with funds obtained under false pretense? Fargo has failed to complete internal flood protection, with the money that has been entrusted with, over the past 6 years for constituents that have been diligently paying their sales tax?

So to be brutally honest…, what version of “fair” is Tim Mahoney is referring to?

It is apparent that Fargo feels it is acceptable to remove water from the natural flood plains where 4628 Timberline Drive is now located and place it onto others, yet takes exception when they get push-back, making wildly delirious claims that proponents are against flood protection for Fargo.

Had Fargo leaders focused on internal flood protection with the same vigor that has placed Fargo’s development project disguised as flood control, a bulk of the $131 million spent on non-internal (sub-contractor enrichment) flood protection projects would have been used to reduce or eliminate recent FEMA flood insurance requirements.

So again, what does does the term “fair” mean to Fargo’s interim mayor Tim Mahoney?

Is it “fair” that Fargo leaders have dragged their feet on internal flood protection, diverted millions away from internal projects, which only ensured a disproportionate financial burden being placed upon property owners with mandatory flood insurance and future tax assessments relating to the dam and diversion?

Fargo residents don’t need to look very hard for an example. Fargo and Cass county never asked or included upstream landowners in any discussions that preceded the announcement of moving impacts upstream. In fact, they were negligently silent in any attempt of allowing those targeted, with the relocation of Fargo’s flood water problems, to participate in the process. Why would this be any different for residents living within Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries when it comes to sticking their residents with another tax by manipulating the ballots?

It appears that the Fargo Diversion Authority, etal; is only interested in their version of “fair”, which is nothing more than to surrender to Fargo development…or else.

Another amusing comment uttered by Mahoney:

“Other projects want the money in the western part of the state, but they don’t have everything lined up,” Mahoney said. “They’re not what we would call shovel ready. We’re shovel ready.”

 

Of course Fargo is shovel ready. They’ve had plenty of experience shoveling manure during legislative sessions…, why would this session be any different?

North Dakota legislators were wise to strip House Bill 1415 of guaranteed new state money for flood control in Fargo.

Largely, it puts the onus back on Fargo to prioritize work on internal Fargo flood projects, rather than spending state monies “at will” on whims that do not provide direct flood benefit to Fargo residents.

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One Response to “ Hypocrites Define Fair Differently ”

  1. Very good editorial Marcus. This should be sent to newspaper’s out in western ND. They need to understand what Fargo and Cass county leaders are up to. Instead of fixing Fargo’s internal flood issues they spend tax dollars on a private golf course. A country club that has had financial problem’s since it’s inception back in the 1970’s. After the legislature gave them a free pass to spend tax dollar’s on the OHB ring dike. They have jumped in and the machine’s were moving at hectic pace this past summer. Isn’t it nice to have ability to pay $25,000/acre to expand and move golf holes, the Pool and club house. It is clear Oxbow’s money problem’s are a thing of the past.

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