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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Will Moorhead City Council Defy MN Governor Dayton and State Law?

MN Gov Mark Dayton and Moorhead City Council Members

I received an email Wednesday from a rural Moorhead, MN landowner. The email contained a few short lines expressing concerns relating to a November 1st article questioning why the Minnesota members of the Fargo Diversion Authority had not voted on the Fiscal Year 2015 budget and Resolution to Approve FY2015 Diversion Authority Budget (read more…) lightly inferring that it is being “sneaked in” after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The Diversion Authority Limited Joint Powers Agreement Article VIII. Budget (read more…) is rather clear that the budget must be approved by all members and shall coincide with the federal fiscal year which ends September 30th. It further states that:

“When the amounts initially approved by all members in above
paragraph are expended the Diversion Authority shall propose
a new budget which must be approved by all of the members
through a vote of their governing bodies.”

So “how” has the Diversion Authority been able to spend money like crazy without all members approving the budget? The Fargo Diversion Authority had to borrow money from US Bank to make it to the end of fiscal year 2014…, so clearly, the 2014 fiscal year had been exhausted and monies spent after Oct 1st, 2014 are coming from the FY2015 budget.

The Moorhead City Council agenda item found online raises several questions.

Question 1: How can the resolution have passed 6 days prior to going before the council?
Question 2: Why does Agenda Item #1 indicate Cumulative Expenditures as of August 31st, 2014 as being $58,607,654.00 (read more…) yet the official Fargo Diversion Authority packet states $81,882,833.68 (read more…)?
Question 3: Why would Moorhead City Mananger Michael Redlinger provide the council with supporting documents for the agenda item vote containing a $23,275,279.00 disparity?
Question 4: Is Moorhead City Mananger Michael Redlinger looking out for the best interests of Minnesota and Moorhead residents or the Diversion Authority?
Question 5: Can the Moorhead City Council legally approve the FY2015 budget without permission from the state legislature, DNR or Gov Daytons office?

On September 3rd, 2014, MN Gov Mark Dayton made it expressly clear that Gov Dayton or DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr are the only two people authorized to speak on behalf of Minnesota on a project of this magnitude.

MN Governor Mark Dayton audio clip:

Question 6: Is it wise for Moorhead City Council members to listen to project proponents advice on Minnesota statutes when an apparent conflict of interest exists that may be contrary to Minnesota law?
Question 7: Should the Moorhead City Council do its due diligence and request a determination from the Minnesota Secretary of State on whether they can vote to deny or approve a budget and potentially in-debt the state of Minnesota without legislative approval?
Question 8: Although the resolution alleges “No Minnesota funds from the City of Moorhead or Clay County are required for FY2015, and a formal amendment to the LJPA is also not necessary at this time.” The Limited Joint Powers Agreement Article IX (read more…) suggests that Minnesota could be sued by North Dakota for not paying its budget share of what it is approving.
Question 9: Is it legal for North Dakota, Fargo or Cass County to lend ND tax assets to another state to compel their continued support of a project. Especially, one that is currently under Minnesota revue?
Question 10: Does it make any financial sense for the Moorhead City Council to approve a budget that will use funds to hire a lobbyist in Minnesota to lobby against work the Minneosta DNR is doing?


Fargo and Cass county are perplexed with Minnesota over funding and how tax monies are distributed. Moorhead cannot simply use heavy handed tactics to create an assessment district to generate funding for diversion related projects.

It would be absurd to think Minnesota taxpayers should pay for any portion of the OHB ring dike-levee or Fargo’s internal flood protections, especially when MN had the foresight to address their internal flooding for considerably less than Fargo’s behemoth project and Moorhead receive ZERO benefit from the OHB project. The fundamental difference being that Moorhead protected the city that exists and Fargo want to protect city expansion for the next 50 years.

Minnesota residents need to speak up and ensure that the Moorhead City Council isn’t creating a financial landmine for MN taxpayers. At the very least, expressing concern that approving the FY2015 Fargo Diversion Authority budget before the Minnesota DNR completes its Environmental Impact Statement would be premature.

Minnesota taxpayers can contact Moorhead city council members to share their thoughts on approving Fargo’s dam and diversion project;

Dailey, Mari – Representing: Ward 1
515 Caddy Ave
Moorhead MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5549

Otto, Nancy – Representing: Ward 1
1913 6 Ave N
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: 218-233-2834

Durand, Heidi – Representing: Ward 2
2739 Walnut Circle
Moorhead, MN 56560
City Phone – 218-299-5543

Haney, Jim – Representing: Ward 2
2106 36th St. S
Moorhead MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5547

Elmer, Brenda – Representing: Ward 3
4856 2nd St. SW
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5548

Hulett, Mike – Representing: Ward 3
4016 Rivershore Dr
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5544

Gehrtz, Steve – Representing: Ward 4
3606 Westmoor Blvd
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5542

Hendrickson, Chuck – Representing: Ward 4
311 22nd Ave. S
Moorhead MN 56560
Phone: 701-318-1587

Williams, Del Rae – Mayor, Representing: At Large
1011 10th St. S
Moorhead MN 56560
Phone: 218-299-5307

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