Fargo leaders have, in the the words of Jerry Von Korff, attorney for the Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, offered a “false choice” to the taxpayers of North Dakota and Minnesota. The false choice is between building a vastly overpriced, unnecessarily expansive project, or providing no protection at all.
As stated in the Complaint Von Korff filed in US District Court today, Fargo leaders have proposed a level of flood protection that is twice as high as any flood that has occurred in the last century in Fargo.
The two-billion dollar proposed project is five times as expensive as cost estimates prepared by the the Army Corps in 2009. Fargo seeks to dramatically expand the scope of the project to extend protection unnecessarily to over 50 square miles of undeveloped natural flood plain, proposing protection at a level of 60,000-66,000 cubic feet per second, more than double the peak flow1 actually experienced at Fargo at any time in the past.
Similarly, the Fargo political machine has successfully defined any talk of alternatives as being anti-flood protection for Fargo. Any dissent or criticism has been met with a relentless campaign by Fargo leaders to isolate and punish the speaker. Wielding Fargo public opinion as a cudgel, proponents of the plan, aided by their media allies, have bullied elected leaders. As a result responsible conservative voices that normally would stand against such frivolous and grandiose spending have been silenced or worse – forced to recant.
Reasonable flood protection for Fargo could happen quickly, affordably and without requiring the destruction of the rural communities south of the Metro area. However, any discussion or exploration of these alternatives is punished, ridiculed and treated as disloyal. Consequently, better plans with less impacts have been ignored.
Rural citizens and communities in Cass and Clay counties, having been thus deprived of representation , see little recourse but to seek a remedy from the federal courts that were, thankfully, set above the political fray by the sage men who framed our constitution.
The complaint filed today in the US District Court, District of Minnesota, [ case # 13-CF-02262 ] can be read in its entirety at http://fmdam.org/case-13-cf-02262-us-district-court-district-of-minnesota/. A federal court, immune from Fargo’s bully tactics, will help decide the issue.