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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Moorhead, Clay Leaders Ask Franken for Another $30M Toward Diversion Design

Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion Project FundingGIVE US MORE MONEY

Once again, local leaders have their hand extended requesting funding for the Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion.

A ritual that will be repeated many more times to fund a 2 billion plus and climbing project that, based on the United States Army Corps of Engineers statistics, which has a 99.98% chance of never being utilized.

Yet, in the same breath the USACE admits the project won’t fully protect Fargo Moorhead if a mythical 500 year flood were to occur.

Moorhead is squandering an opportunity to become the economic force that it could be. The downtown Moorhead area and corridor is ripe for revitalization.

Question: Does it make sense to pursue the rapacious Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion that largely benefits Fargo’s urban sprawl into a natural flood plain and future econmic development?

Question: Why would Moorhead and Clay County leaders continue to seek funding for a project that siphons the business and tax dollars away to Fargo?

Moorhead is much more than a second class suburb to Fargo and it’s self actualized water problems.

Here the story including editorial commentary…


by author: Kristen M. Daum, Fargo Forum, January 11, 2012

City and Clay County leaders met with Democratic Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday in the hopes of keeping federal dollars flowing in to fund work on the Red River diversion.

Franken discussed ongoing efforts to shore up Moorhead flood protection and the continued design of the diversion for nearly an hour with nine local officials.

Officials had one request of Franken: Secure another $30 million dollars toward the diversion project in the 2013 fiscal year budget, which begins Sept. 1.

Behind the scenes, local and federal engineers are plowing ahead with technical design, while Fargo-Moorhead leaders await congressional authorization for the project, a hurdle they hope to clear this year.

In the mean time, the federal share of costs is still necessary to move forward in advance of any construction on the diversion, Moorhead engineer Bob Zimmerman said.

Franken repeated his support for the $1.78 billion channel and commended local leaders on their continued work.

Editorial Comment: At some point it would be nice if the Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion proponents, city and state leaders and the Fargo Forum would actually read chronological page 169 (numbered 136) of the FEIS which detail the Fully Funded Total Project Cost Summary (LPP) by fiscal year.

Download:  Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion (Total Project Cost Summary) (70kb)

“All of us feel the same way about this: It’s absolutely necessary,” Franken said. “The longer this drags out, the more expensive this gets.”

Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland also told Franken of the city’s continued work to build levees up to a level of 42.5 feet – short-term protection that’s meant to work in concert with the diversion, which should protect to 46.7 feet.

“We’re being very aggressive because we don’t know what’s going to happen with the diversion,” Voxland said, adding that the short-term protection is Moorhead’s first priority.

“Once we get we get our short-term mitigation finished, then we’ll go back to the Legislature and really sing the song about the diversion” to secure state funding, he told Franken.

Editorial Comment: Moorhead is applauded for their efforts to protect the city to a realistic flood level. However, does it make sense to support a project that the DNR  and National Wildlife Federation don’t support? What sense does it make to support a project that will violate Executive Order 11988 and encourage development of a natural flood plain which displaced massive amounts of water that will become a future threat to the city?

<< Read Minnesota DNR Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion >>
<< Read National Wildlife Federation Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion >>

Singing a song to the legislature is tantamount to saying whatever it takes and embellishing whatever half-truth necessary to secure funding for a project that has a 99.98% chance of never being utilized to its design capacity.

It is curious how funding requests can be made when the actual final costs are not factually included in the Total Project Cost Summary.

To date, property owners south of the proposed Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion have not been presented buyout offers and farmers have not been presented compensation for water easements that will destroy their lively-hoods. How is it possible to the know the “real” Total Project Cost Summary when the most pivotal portion of the project has only been vaguely addressed?

Local leaders and staff who attended the meeting with Franken were: Voxland, Zimmerman, Moorhead City Council members Brenda Elmer and Nancy Otto, Moorhead City Manager Michael Redlinger, Clay County Commissioner Kevin Campbell, County Administrator Brian Berg, Diversion Authority public outreach spokesman Daron Selvig and Scott Ingvoldstad, of CH2MHill, the Diversion Authority’s project management firm.

Editorial Comment: Throughout the entire procedural process related to the Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion, the stakeholders that are expected to relinquish their land and lively-hoods have not had a seat anf voice at the table with representation looking out for their interests.

Perhaps it’s how proponents of the Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion live with the moral ambiguity of dismissing the rights of property owners that will be denied the free and unfettered value that others will invariably make a profit from.


This article is republished pursuant to Section 107 of the US Copyright Code Title 17

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