In the recent Senate hearing Bismarck ND March 8, in the testimony on House Bill 1020 it was claimed again that the voters approved the FM Metro Flood Risk Reduction plan.
Here is the rest of the story.
In November 2010 Cass County voters approved a sales tax for the engineering, land purchase, construction, and maintenance of a Red River Diversion and other flood control measures.
According to the attorney from the Kindred School District, “At the time the vote occurred, the electorate understood that the proposed flood project would not impact upstream communities and would not severely impact downstream communities. One week after the county-wide vote, it was announced that the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) was defective because of miscalculations on the effect of downstream flow.” A new diversion plan was now to be promoted.
The new diversion plan is so different that the vote taken in November 2010 cannot be considered an approval for the plan as currently proposed. The timeline for the development of the new approved plan shows that it is inconceivable that the Corps and the FM Metro Group (now the Diversion Authority) did not know at the time of the vote that the old plan could not fly. The new plan had very different impacts, many different features, and a higher cost.
The document referenced below gives the timeline for the studies that led to the new plan, the plan the voters were not aware of:
Read | Download → 3 Years of Study Leads to Diversion Plans of Today
See the actions dated April 2010, June 2010, July 2010, September 2010 and November 2010.
One week after the election in November 2010: “The Army Corps unveils drastic changes to the F-M diversion plan —.” As stated earlier, it is not possible to believe that the Metro Group was not aware at the time of the vote that the plan was to be changed since the new plan was the culmination of a four-month-long study.
The new plan created a vast holding pond upstream, affecting 50,000 acres of farmland and requiring the relocation of hundreds or thousands of residents, according to Corps documents. Why was this not revealed to the voters? Was it because they feared the voters would not approve?
For the Diversion Attorney/Corps to impact a completely different group of people, with greatly different features, with the unthinkable impact of making a holding pond, flooding out perhaps thousands of citizens most of whom have never been flooded borders on criminal. All this for the stated reason to provide for the development of the Fargo flood plain, according to Fargo’s 2007 growth plan. For a copy of the growth plan, see Read | Download → Fargo 2007 Growth Plan.
We should be able to expect more from Fargo. It becomes clear from an examination the above documents and other Corps materials that the diversion proponents and the Corps were negligent in their duty to inform the voters of the impending change.
Promotion of a plan that they knew could not be implemented was misinformation at the least and, at worst, deliberate deception.