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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Pawluk’s Pen Perils (part 1)

Ken Pawluk, Cass County Commissioner

Ken Pawluk, Cass County Commissioner

Cass County commissioner Ken Pawluk took his turn with the public outreach bat on July 26, 2015 in reaction to Wilkin County commissioner Lyle Hovland letter to the Fargo Forum.

Here are links to both letters for your consideration:

2015-07-07 Lyle Hovland Letter

2015-07-26 Ken Pawluk Letter

Both gentleman have constituents to represent and the constitutional right to express their opinions, as they have both done in the Fargo Forum.

This article is Part 1 of 7 addressing Ken Pawluk’s letter to the Fargo Forum.

FM Diversion North Reach (near Harwood)D

View Pawluk Land

Consider the following facts as you read both letters above.

• There are 706.922 acres of property listed under the last name Pawluk west of the Sheyenne River and north of 32nd ave NW that are registered to the same Fargo, ND mailing address.

• The taxable valuation as of 2014 was $747,000

• This is an area prone to flooding.

• Pawluk land will benefit from a project decisions made by Cass county and the Fargo Diversion Authority

• Ken Pawluk is a Cass County commissioner, and has done so since the inception of the diversion project.

• Ken Pawluk is a voting member of the Fargo Diversion Authority and Public Outreach Committee.

• Ken Pawluk had the “opportunity” to exercise his will with greater representation in the DPAC assessment vote, both as a property owner and as a Cass county commissioner on the 706.922 acres registered to his Fargo, ND address.

Here is an excerpt from Ken Pawluk’s letter to the Fargo Forum:

Ken Pawluk July 26, 2015 letter to Fargo Forum
Unfortunately with water projects, there will always be impacts. We have spent years working to limit those impacts from the diversion project. Impacts upstream from the diversion project would only be realized on floods that exceed a 35-foot flood level in Fargo. This means that there is only a 10 percent chance in any given year that additional water might be stored upstream of the project. Farming operations would continue as normal, but approximately 100 additional homes still will have to be bought out in the staging area. The removal of 100 homes and a 10 percent chance of a couple of weeks of additional water on farmland is what is required to protect 200,000 people from having a flooded community, 20,000 homes from being put into the flood plain, and to protect the 140,000 jobs in the metro area (2,000 of which are held by people from Richland and Wilkin counties).


With respect, Mr. Pawluk, you are full of it.

There will always be impacts associated with flooding, however, the flood project(s) agenda that you and your ilk are promoting is a willful choice to relocate a flood impact occurring at Fargo, onto entities outside Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries.

This dogmatic attempt by project promoters to assert that water project impacts are an “unavoidable” and foregone conclusion defines the imperial nature associated with Cass county and Fargo.

Even more bewildering is that Fargo Diversion Authorities ability to spend over $198 million on a project that has not turned a shovel of dirt for the dam or diversion nor received federal funding. Yet, along those same lines, you and your ilk have found a way to mitigate homes at Oxbow, ND in the 200-500 percent range, yet have denied the remaining property owners outside the OHB (Oxbow, Hickson, Bakke) project any semblance of closure on the impacts facing them as a result of actions that you play an active role in.

Where are the final water easements on farming operations or multi-peril insurance options for Fargo’s man-made event in the staging reservoir?

Whether or not 20,000 will be put in the flood plain or not is not relevant to the project for three fundamental reasons.

1) All studies conducted this far have not quantified the cumulative effect of flood augmentation caused by flood plain encroachment and water displacement.

2) The 20,000 homes being argued in relation to FEMA flood insurance were not part of the original project consideration, which Fargo city engineer April Walker initially argued to be 400-500 homes.

3) There is no written guarantee that the overall project will remove flood insurance requirements.

Mr. Pawluk, your math skills are rather comical:

Of the 200,000 you and your ilk frequently embellish as example:

cited source: google (2013 est)
Alleged protection for: 200,000
West Fargo (has flood proctection): -29,878
Horace (has flood protection): -2,543
Moorhead (has flood protection): -39,392
Fargo: -113,658
Reilies Acres: -581
Harwood: -750
Frontier: -217
Prairie Rose: -74
Missing from alleged amount: -12,833


It appears that you and your ilk make a lot of claims but provide no answers.

Commissioner Pawluk, the closing statement in your letter “…What I do not welcome is short-sighted commentary or those looking to blame my constituents for the flooding they face…” is a blatant example of failed leadership and that of your ilk.

Cass county, Fargo and the Diversion Authority are only interested in “yes-men” (no offense toward women) for the project agenda. Which is the most irresponsible and dangerous path to choose. It ensures that critical thinking does not play a key role in the decision making process, which in-turn fails to represent the public’s best interest.

Pawluk’s Pen Perils (part 2) coming soon…

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One Response to “ Pawluk’s Pen Perils (part 1) ”

  1. It appears conflict of interest is showing up….Why not disclose that upfront? This is murkier that the Red River that floods.

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