Diversion Authority Approves Money for EIS - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Diversion Authority Approves Money for EIS

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Tuesday afternoon, the Flood Diversion Board of Authority and Minnesota DNR agreed on contract terms to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead area diversion project.

The contract will cost close to $1.2 million dollars, which is about $400,000 dollars more than the preliminary estimate. Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker says even with the upped cost, he supports the current diversion project.

"We've had our best engineers in this entire area working on this for years. And all the nuances, or whatever it is, that they've had to go through, this is the plan they came up with and I support them 100 percent."

Walaker says in a project this large, there are going to be changes in price and process, but getting the project approved is the main focus.

"Hopefully we can save significant money in the future if we ever get this project going. That's what it's all about, to try and get things going," Walaker explains. "The contractors are ready to go, the interest rates are low. The longer we put it off in the future the more expensive it's going to be."

That extra $400,000 dollars is taxpayer money. It will be paid for with money from a sales tax increase previously approved by voters.

The Army Corps of Engineers already conducted an environmental impact study, but since the project is on state lines, the Minnesota DNR must prepare one for the Minnesota side of the river to comply with the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act.
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