Senator Hoeven Asks for $35 Million of Federal Funds to Support Diversion

The funds will go towards flood protection of Fargo as well as diversion design and engineering plans

FARGO, N.D. —¬†While the Metro Flood Diversion Authority awaits a decision from the Minnesota DNR on the new diversion plan, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senator John Hoeven stress the need for flood protection across the valley.

“This is a huge project, you’re talking more than $2 billion, but really important because this is a dynamic, growing region and we need that permanent flood protection,” said Senator Hoeven.

This led Senator Hoeven to make a pitch for $35 million in federal funds to help with immediate flood protection in Fargo as well as design and engineering costs for the project.

“That’s a good thing. We were thinking maybe 10 [million dollars] but an extra 25 is great so that was good to hear,” said Del Rae Williams, the Mayor of Moorhead.

One of the major topics discussed at the meeting was the progress with Plan B, and how the new proposal will decrease the need for flood insurance across the region.

“We’ve seen ever increasing rates and those rates could be increasing substantially and so this a huge burden. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars in cumulative costs to the people of this community,” said Governor Burgum.

Plan B was derived from a joint task force between Burgum and Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, and the Authority hopes that the DNR approves their application this fall.

Plan B comprises of more land devoted to diversion in North Dakota as opposed to Minnesota.

“There are some areas that we bought out with federal dollars so that may require legislation to be able to go through those areas with construction,” said Senator Hoeven.

Since the Task Force was completed last fall, Governor Burgum is pleased with the results thus far.

“The work the task force did with everyone in that time frame has really stayed focused on the original goals, and the goals were to make sure that we could achieve 100 year flood protection for all the citizens that live and work in this area,” said Governor Burgum.

As the Authority awaits a decision from the DNR, they are confident this plan ensures flood protection for all in the valley.

In the new Plan B, 81 percent of the land devoted to the diversion route, which totals up to 41,000 acres, is based in North Dakota.

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