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Residents and farmers south of Fargo Moorhead should not have to be punished for the mistakes of those who chose to build in a flood plain in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Consider options of widening, straightening, dredging the river, erecting permanent flood walls, or erecting a ring dike around the city. We have a small family cemetery high on the riverbank of our property from my great-grandfather’s days. With the diversion, this would be flooded. And if the Eagle Valley cemetery is affected, the adjacent newly built Eagle Valley Evangelical Free Church along the Red River two miles east of Christine, ND would also be affected by the diversion.
A small group of Fargo/Cass County individuals has been operating in a feedback loop with the St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the Fargo Diversion. “… the ND alignment is a locally preferred alignment… to accommodate the city of Fargo’s current future plans of development…” This statement is a smoking gun that proves the Fargo Diversion, the Locally Preferred Plan, is all about development of the floodplain on the far south side of Fargo, which recently built a new south side high school in it in anticipation of future development. Although public hearings have been held, these have been strictly pro-forma, with no comments recorded. The general public has been blocked out of the decision making process.
There are a few THOUSAND people who live on farms and small communities south of Fargo Moorhead who are going to lose their homes and livelihoods or have them become unusable/inaccessible. The Fargo dam project as put forth by the Corp of Engineers has a moral problem in both environmental and human terms which will leave behind a legacy of acrimony. The DNR is not in favor of this project. A great, albeit unappreciated, resource will be destroyed.
Fargo, ND and the USACE may ignore concerns over National Register of historic buildings that would be destroyed by the construction and operation of the Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion. “What are we willing to sacrifice for a project that won’t fully protect Fargo?” – Editorial Team
Based on information available at this time and the impact analysis outlined in the Final Fishand Wildlife Coordination Act Report (July 2011 ), the FWS recommends that, should the Corps and the local project sponsors proceed with the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Flood Risk Reduction Project, the Federally Comparable Plan (FCP or MN 3SK Alternative) Diversion Channel Alternative be the selected Alternative. Adverse ecological impacts will occur with any of the Diversion Channel Alternatives. For the following reason, however, the FCP Alternative would result in less severe ecological impacts than the Locally Preferred Plan (LPP) Diversion Channel Alternative:
Fargo leaders have left a paper trail that clearly indicates that the diversion is not flood protection but a long range growth plan. This growth plan takes established communities and wipes them away to ensure that Fargo has no competition for development. If Fargo wanted to protect the residents they would not have allowed recent development in high flood risk areas. The charter of the Army Corps of Engineers does not allow work done to promote growth of one community over another.
Fargo has found a way, with the help of the Corps. By protecting the “natural flood plain” and moving the water south to flood their neighbors, they will have created an area for growth. Their problem is now to make everyone believe their ”flood control plan” is the only way Fargo can have “flood protection” and hide the fact it is crafted to provide for Fargo’s future growth, in reality an economic development based plan.
The Corps has been hired by Fargo to protect Fargo, a hired gun. Get whoever you need to get out of the way and do what we have hired you to do. Fargo hasn’t flooded, yet they claim it will take more acreage then exists in the city limits to protect it. This may be nothing more then Fargo’s plan for growth — get this thing started wait for the land to devaluate and take all of it for Fargo’s future growth.
Your latest EIS does not adequately address the issue of BASIN-WIDE flood risk management as a tool which needs to be incorporated into the plan. The locally preferred plan is all about protecting a “future” Fargo and the land which Fargo wants to develop-it is not about providing flood protection for current Fargo-Moorhead which the much more economical Federally Preferred Plan accomplishes. Adequate analysis of impacted areas upstream from the water staging have also not been addressed sufficiently and their appropriate costs have not been stated.
The protection for Fargo and Moorhead should not be at the detriment of Richland County residents. The Richland County Water Resource Board feels it is imperative that the US Army Corps of Engineers provide due diligence in addressing these issues. The Board requests those upstream and downstream of the Fargo-Moorhead project be given due consideration because of the impacts they will experience as a result of this project.