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Frustration Growing with Diversion Opponents and Proponents - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Frustration Growing with Diversion Opponents and Proponents

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More fallout Wednesday on Minnesota's decision to take sides in the diversion fight. Valley News Live was the first to bring you the news that Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) filed a fried of the court brief saying they have a significant interest in the diversion. Minnesota state representative Paul Marquart says he is glad the DNR is stepping up for the state of Minnesota. The Oxbow-Hickson ring dike construction is continuing and the Diversion Authority says it won't stop unless a judge says so.

Valley News Live had the opportunity to speak with Representative Paul Marquart and Diversion Authority chairman Darrell Vanyo, both showing frustration with the other side on this project. Marquart said now that the DNR wants to be heard in the case, it begs the question: Does Minnesota's input really matter? Also, how can Minnesota support the project knowing the state is not being heard? 

"The bottom line is when you have a project this big, you need to listen to all the parties involved. Right now, the state of Minnesota is not being heard. It is not getting proper input and, when it has, it's been ignored at this point and that is very troublesome. Until Minnesota gets to the table, I think there will be problems with this project," said Marquart.  

Fargo's city attorney Eric Johnson says this does not mean much for the city, because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Diversion Authority are separate entities of the city. It just delays flood protection. Diversion Authority chairman Darrell Vanyo tells Valley News Live although he respects the DNR and what they are doing, he has a very important question regarding flood protection.

"How many years do we have to wait to get protection in Fargo-Moorhead? Does the entire Red River Valley have to be protected before us? Do we have to pay and bare the funds for everybody in the Red River Valley? I have never seen anyone that have had to go through the scrutiny and issues that we have on a project," said Vanyo.

Marquart is adamant he is not opposed to long-term flood protection, in fact he says it is needed. He just says he wants to make sure the state is heard and the environmental impact statement is completed.
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