Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
Original Publication Date: September 26th, 2013
Wahpeton Daily News
Republished with permission from:
Editorial Team, Richland Wilkin Joint Powers Authority
The North Dakota Class B Basketball tournament is known as the greatest show in the state. The ties of a small community transcend everything else when their team is playing. It’s no different on the Minnesota side of the Red when the sectional tournaments begin and the TV cameras turn on. The ties of small towns were on display this week when more than 500 people turned out at the Christine Community Center to cheer on the fight against a Fargo Dam that threatens our homes and communities. When the contributions were counted, more than $40,000 had been contributed to keep up the fight.
This was no small cheer. This was a sincere commitment by people who work hard to earn a living and raise their families. They get up early to go to work. They see that their children get a good education. They till their fields come drought or flood. But Sunday night, they came to Christine to preserve their communities and their future. If the dam and reservoir are built as part of the Fargo Flood Control Project, life will change forever. So far, about a third of the supposed Oxbow buyouts say they are leaving town. FEMA will have to redraw the 100 year flood plain to reflect the staging area behind the dam. No one can build there. This will reduce revenue for every taxing district. The Kindred School District will be the first on the list. This will be followed by Richland 44, Moorhead, Barnesville and Breckenridge. That’s right; the patrons of the Moorhead School District will have to pay higher school taxes because the reservoir will reduce current and future property valuations. On top of it all, the Diversion Authority wants Minnesota to kick in $100 million so developers can build in the floodplain south of Fargo, instead of the high and dry area around Moorhead. These changes won’t be temporary, they will be permanent.
The small town folks south of Fargo know that. When the folks walked into the Christine Community Center with money in their hands, they were cheering for the home team. The Bakke and Hickson residents who served the food weren’t sitting on the sidelines. They know that this is the biggest contest their communities have ever seen. They’re playing in the big game, and they’re up to the test. Way to go Team Upstream, we’ll get the caravan ready.