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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Michael Hammond Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

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Michael Hammond Comments USACE FEIS Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion
To whom it may concern,

While the need for flood prevention measures in the Fargo, Moorhead, and the surrounding areas are apparent, the current plan put forth has several flaws that appear to keep going unnoticed to those making decisions:

1. The current plan of record would force out multiple communities that have already solved their own issues with flood waters.
2. The current plan of record would flood areas that have been previously unaffected by flood waters, forcing problems on to those who made more intelligent choices regarding the locations of their homes and communities.
3. The cost of the current plan of record is prohibitive and comes at a time when governments have proven incapable of intelligently managing budgets. While the initial cost is being examined and people are struggling to find financing, the ongoing maintenance costs are continually being overlooked. This plan is likely to place an economic burden on the region not only in the short term, but in the years to come as well.
4. The plan is designed primarily for the benefit of one town – Fargo. Those who have followed the development of the project understand that the diversion will close off opportunities for growth for multiple towns while opening new areas of expansion for Fargo. In addition, cities that have tried to work with Fargo on the project have either outright opposed the recommended solution
or formally withdrawn support.

We are continually asked to believe that if completed, Fargo will only use the diversion only when absolutely necessary, but everything to date indicates that there is no reason to believe this is the case. Fargo has continually forced decisions to be made based on its own interests and has even managed to obtain a supermajority (six of nine seats) on the panel that will be making decisions regarding the project. Nothing to date has provided any reason to believe that Fargo will not continue to act selfishly at the expense of others in the region. As I write this, I am facing the prospect of having to leave my home or at the very least being placed into a flood zone by a project to benefit one city in a different state. I am likely to incur potentially significant ongoing expenses for having had the foresight to purchase a house on the high ground and additionally, I will have the privilege of being taxed to pay for flooding my land and home.

In the years of recent flooding, much was made of the resolve in the region as people fought for their homes and the homes of their neighbors and friends. Please remember that determination is not isolated to the city of Fargo. Those thousands of people affected by this plan are not likely to give up on their homes easily.


Michael Hammond

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