Flood Diversion Task Force Meets For The First Time

When establishing the task force, the governors and their staff created a set of rules with hopes of having a resolution by December 15th

FARGO, ND — The new Flood Diversion task force met for the first time at the Fargodome to discuss their ideas and concerns with the project.

Although no decisions were made, Governor Burgum and Governor Dayton say it was crucial to start in the right direction.

Sixteen people with different flood experiences have been chosen to create a solution for permanent flood protection.

“Having a process that starts with that even handedness and with people who want to get to a solution who are going to bring the different viewpoints that are representing different geographical areas, at least in Minnesota, is crucial to a likelihood of success,” said Governor Dayton.

North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum and Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton are co–leaders of the task force.

“Governor Dayton and Governor Burgum are a really good balance as far as here’s what we need to do. Every now and then making comments that seem to point to the fact that they want to come to a solution” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney.

When establishing the task force, the governors and their staff created a set of rules with hopes of having a resolution by December 15th.

“If one or both of the parties decide that they wanted to apply for an appeal but then immediately stay that appeal, meaning they would take no action on it, they are just preserving their right, if they did that then we don’t count it as active litigation,” said Gov. Burgum.

They say if there is active litigation, it would defeat the purpose of the task force.

The state of Minnesota has put a temporary halt on the project and now it’s up to the task force to come up with a solution that pleases those for and against the project.

“You have pro diversion people you have people against the project, so it allows for all that interaction for hopefully something positive,” said Mahoney.

Representatives from the Minnesota DNR participated in the conversation and members of the Water Commission State Engineer’s Office listened in.

“When we’ve got the people delivering the permits in the room that improves our opportunity to come up with a positive solution at the end of the day,” said Gov. Burgum.

Both governors say this is an opportunity to compromise.

“This is not about litigating the past; this is about defining our future,” said Gov. Burgum.

“We’ve got a number of very complex issues ahead of us but we’re all engaged in making a solution. Failure is not an option,” said Gov. Dayton.

The task force has plans to meet in person and by phone at least 4 more times before they provide their recommendations on December 15th.

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