Gov. Dayton, Gov. Burgum Working to Find Compromise on F-M Diversion Project

Governors Dayton and Burgum will co–lead the 16–member working group which will consist of eight members from each state

MOORHEAD, Minn. — The F-M Flood Diversion project has caused controversy in the Red River Valley for years and Governor Dayton and Governor Burgum seem to be on opposite sides when it comes to flood protection.

But it doesn’t mean they don’t want to work together to come up with a solution.

“Failure’s not an option,” said Gov. Mark Dayton.

That is one thing both governors can agree on when it comes to the F–M Flood Diversion project.

They are taking steps towards a compromise.

“We’re going to form a joint task force between Minnesota and North Dakota,” said Gov. Doug Burgum.

Governors Dayton and Burgum will co–lead the 16–member working group which will consist of eight members from each state.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, who is chair of the Diversion Authority, was on board with today’s announcement.

“To me, it is key to have the two governors in the room,” Mayor Mahoney said.

The task force is not meant to replace the Diversion Authority, which oversees the $2.2 billion project.

It is a working group that will facilitate collaboration between the states to come up with a solution that seems to be the best fit.

“This joint task force will be working on a pressed timeline,” Gov. Burgum said. “Governor Dayton says it will take days, not months or years to come up with a solution.”

“Cooperative efforts work best when they have a compressed timetable and a deadline so we’ll establish that and then we’ll get to work,” Gov. Dayton said.

“He suggested a deadline and he suggested days rather than months,” Mayor Mahoney said. “Which is much better than I expected because I was concerned a little bit about how long it would take for everybody to technically get together.”

The governors said they have specific goals in mind.

“We do want to solve the upstream concerns and we do want to come up with a solution that would achieve a Minnesota permit,” Gov. Burgum said.

Finding those answers are critical.

“If we don’t technically have something that can meet the Minnesota permit requirements, than we’re not going to have flood protection for Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo,” Gov. Burgum said.

Within the next few days, the Governors’ offices will finalize details and decide on a timeline.

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