In the Fargo Forum Our Opinion piece, Feb. 24 2013,
Mr. Ken Pawluk said, “The contention that the diversion is ‘Fargo’s plan’ is misleading.”
So, if the plan is not Fargo’s plan, then whose plan is it?
The facts are:
This is Fargo’s plan because the people representing the interests of Fargo have been the major players in the whole process of choosing the level of protection and the location of the proposed diversion and the upstream impacts.
The plan chosen was determined by the parameters given to the Corps around which they were to develop a plan. (see example of, Appendices O FEIS VE#3) The end goal of Fargo development interests was achieved with the locally approved plan, which was to reduce the costs to build in the natural flood plain. (see Appendices C FEIS July 2011) The people who own the land to be developed, not the current homeowners in Fargo, profit from the plan.
The Corps justifies the current plan since it removes more future development land (see the development plan, Fargo 2007 ) from the Fargo flood plain than the other potential alternative plans.
The “protection” the Diversion provides is the protection of the profits of the special interests of Fargo, not the needs of West Fargo, not Moorhead, not Bakke, Hickson and Oxbow, not the Red River Valley.
Mr. Pawluk claims West Fargo will no longer be threatened from the Sheyenne River. I was not aware of the claimed threat from the Sheyenne to West Fargo that would be reduced by the FM Diversion. In fact the FM Diversion negatively impacts the growth area of West Fargo. The Diversion Authority and the Corps located the West Fargo alignment to “not” protect, (reduce development costs) the West Fargo flood plain and in Fargo they located the alignment to protect, reduce development costs) the Fargo flood plain. This double standard is done by the deceptive use of Executive Order 11988 which is meant to reduce the flood risk by reducing development in flood plains. This process is for Fargo’s benefit.
The local approved plan impacts Moorhead negatively. It forces them to build their flood protection to a level as high as Fargo’s.
The proposed plan to flood out Bakke, Hickson, and Oxbow, which currently are protected to the 100-year level , and then save them with ring dike is clearly disingenuous. To propose that a ring dike should be provided to restore property values where flooding has not occurred is absurd. Only Fargo would propose to flood out a community and then take credit for protecting it. As one could say “you are to be congratulated for stopping beating your dog.”
The plan’s impacts go far beyond the Fargo Metro region. The plan does nothing to reduce flood risk in the Red River Valley outside of Fargo. To paraphrase what the Corps project leader, Aaron Snyder said to Richland and Wilkin Counties, under this plan with a 500 year food: you still will have Fargo to shop at.
Mr. Ken Pawluk it is time to rethink the goals of Fargo’s plan. It is becoming apparent to more and more area residents that using billions of taxpayers’ dollars to support development of the flood plain is not serving the interests of the ordinary homeowner in Fargo.