October 5, 2012
Fellow Members of Mndak Upstream Coalition:
Earlier this week, the Fargo Diversion Authority publicly floated the idea of a 9 to 17 foot ring dike for Oxbow/Hickson/Bakke. I believe this issue was rolled out by Fargo leaders for the same reason they promised to consider moving the Diversion inlet south to Highway 46: to discourage the open opposition to their plan.
The past few months have seen several developments that have led me to believe that the Dam component of Fargo’s diversion plan will never be built. Moorhead/Minnesota has effectively signaled that they will not be paying the 10% they promised. Several members of our Federal Congressional delegations from both Minnesota and North Dakota have spoken privately to our leaders, expressing their reservations and doubts that funding will ever be approved if the project includes dams and an 80 square mile reservoir. We are in contact with our state legislators in Minnesota and North Dakota and they are telling us much the same. Some of you recall Fargo Representative Jim Kasper standing and publicly saying precisely that to Commissioner Vanyo at the Fargo Diversion Authority meeting on September 13.
On another front the Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority has directed their attorney to file the lawsuit to challenge the project. This will be forthcoming shortly. Additionally, the JPA intends to be, through our lawyers, very involved in the MN DNR approval process. Our JPA lawyers are confident that we can have influence in the process and that Minnesota will not permit this plan – even in the off chance it was funded.
In conclusion, there is ample evidence that our continued unified opposition will prevent this dam from ever being approved or funded. It is therefore no coincidence that Fargo’s leaders suddenly did an about face, publically suggesting a 17 foot ring dike for Oxbow. I speak for the entire Board of Directors of MnDak Upstream Coalition, we are unified in our belief this is nothing more than ruse, no different from the Highway 46 inlet suggestion, designed to divide or break the effective opposition we have organized. We are confident that if we stay united as a community, the dam component of Fargo’s Diversion plan will be defeated and we will have protected our homes, our schools and our way of life.
I look forward to seeing you at the next public MnDak meeting Monday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. in Christine.
Chairman, MnDak Upstream Coalition