New Mississippi Valley Division Commander Meets with Gov. Burgum, Sen. Hoeven Over Flood Diversion Efforts

Major General Kaiser says the most important thing that came out of today's meeting is hearing about both Minnesota and North Dakota working together toward a common goal

FARGO, ND — The F–M Flood Diversion project has caused controversy for years but now Governor Dayton and Governor Burgum are working together for permanent flood protection.

“The engineers are confident they can solve it,” said Gov. Burgum. “It’ll take some engineering skills, it’s going to take some political skill, it’s going to take some give and collaboration for us to achieve this.”

A private meeting was held with the new commander of the Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Major General Kaiser said the most important thing that came out of today’s meeting is hearing about both Minnesota and North Dakota working together toward a common goal.

“We can solve this challenge and the goal is flood risk reduction because it is so important to the citizens of our country to have that protection,” Major General Kaiser said. “It is so important for our economy to have that protection.”

Representation from both sides of the river expressed the important points of the meeting.

“Technical people say, ‘hey, we can do things if the policy people can get together and say, okay here’s a policy we can agree on,'” said Sen. John Hoeven. “Can that be done? Both can it be done in terms of physically doing it but also preserving the project.”

Everyone at the meeting said there are a lot of factors to make this a successful project.

“The team that the two governors are going to put together, we will find a solution to this challenge,” said Major General Kaiser.

Governor Dayton and the Minnesota DNR were both invited to the meeting but did not attend.

“We’re working with them every day,” Gov. Burgum said. “Collaboration has been good between our two offices.”

The governors recently announced they will be creating a joint task force to find a solution.

Governor Burgum said they have yet to make a decision on who the sixteen members will be.

The meeting was closed to the public and reporters.

Gov. Doug Burgum said the meeting was private because of discussions about ”legal next steps.”

The Fargo Public Library’s policy says “all meetings must be open to the public. Meetings may not be restricted to any particular group or individuals.”

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