ND House Proposes No State Money Used for FM Diversion - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

ND House Proposes No State Money Used for FM Diversion

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The message comes in the form of a bill that passed the House and it has many Cass county officials worried about the future of the flood diversion project. The diversion price tag sits at 1.8 billion dollars... And so far.. 102 million is already approved. But today's vote would stop the cash flow, until federal funds are assured. Valley News Live found out this move, didn't surprise everyone.

The initial idea of the diversion was to build a 35 mile long channel to help keep the Red River away from the F-M area during the peak flooding season. It would cost 1.8 billion dollars, but since North Dakota hasn't heard back from the Fed's for the majority of that funding, the state isn't sure about flipping the whole bill.

Nathan Berseth a board member of MNDAK Upstream Coalition says the move wasn't a shocker,"I mean your looking at 2 billion dollars. Still 1.2 billion dollars... Where's that money going to come from? So it boils down to dollars and cents. This is lacking funding no matter how you look at it."

Berseth says he wasn't surprised by Wednesday's vote. In fact, he says the situation is better than many Cass County Representatives are making it out to be. "Fargo will get 42 1/2 feet protection so we'll get 100 plus year flood protection. I think that's great it will protect the existing city of Fargo. What legislature is saying is we'll help protect the city of Fargo."

With the 102 million the state is giving Fargo, they might not be able to hold back a 500 year flood. But the North Dakota House, at least today, doesn't seem willing to use public funds for home buyouts or a diversion project.

"They've really done their homework and said you know what with this 102 million let's protect Fargo. Were not gonna do the land grab and grow to the south of Fargo in a flood prone area in a flood plain. That should be held for storing water." Says Berseth.

The diversion project is far from squashed. The issue must still be considered in the North Dakota Senate.

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