If you haven’t read the March 17th, 2014 Agweek article “Farmers Oppose Diversion” by Mikkel Pates, its worth your time to do so.
In just a few hundred words, Pates touched on several of the issues that the Fargo Forum refuses to explore or chooses to suppress.
One of the more important points is the lack of any clearly defined way of addressing compensation and insurance issues facing farmers and upstream interests.
The arbitrary “red box”, that is depicted on many maps disseminated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Fargo Diversion Authority, provides little to no mitigation for impacts to those outside the red line and only vague promises to those inside the “red box”. In short, the “red box” is the projects way of pre-defining a calculated cap on financial impacts by ignoring them. At present, each individual property owner outside the “red box” that suffers a loss as a result of impacts caused by the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion will need to seek litigation for relief.
As I re-read the Agweek article by Mikkel Pates, it’s easy to realize who the hero’s and zero’s really are, by their responses.
Mark Askegaard, who is a fourth generation farmer, is defending his multi-generational lively-hood.
Rodger Olson, recited Fargo Diversion Authority propaganda overstating the alleged population receiving benefit from the proposed project and floats access to hospital services as a benefit.
Scott Hendrickson, made it very clear that there are no clearly defined solutions to clearly defined issues caused by the proposed project.
Tim Fox, state’s attorney for Wilkin County summed up the essence of Fargo and their project profoundly in one sentence.
“I should be able to flood him because I want to be bigger.”
Perry Miller, touched on the devastating impacts caused by flowage easements. Wherein, future use of land, that is currently not flooded, will have restrictions placed upon it preventing future development in perpetuity.
Then there’s Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, whining about opposition from Richland and Wilkin counties and completely ignores the opposition from Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo and Horace residents, Cass and Clay county residents outside the metro area and nearly the entire population of Pleasant township. The arrogance of citing buyouts, that are primarily a result of rising flood crests caused by encroachment into the natural flood plain, is poor justification for the proposed project and represents that Imperial Fargo/Imperial Cass bully mentality.
Fargo’s pitch to develop into the last natural flood plain south of the city pits urban against rural interests and is, in all things, an empty argument. The shameless “economic engine”, often touted by the pro-Fargo Diversion Authority ilk, is a direct assault on small towns and rural economies.
No matter how you look at it, squandering productive farmland for flood prone curb and gutter development is a fools venture.