The Diversion Authority has approved the 2016 budget for continuing work on the FM Area Diversion Project. The 2016 budget is $237.5 million, which includes more than $96 million for existing projects and $141 million for new ones.
The Diversion Authority has set the following primary goals for the next year:
- Support the completion of the MDNR EIS, conduct additional Mitigation (cultural and environmental) necessary for implementation of the project, and acquire required permits.
- Make the Diversion Project “shovel ready” by conducting property acquisitions along the diversion channel and inlet structure, as well as completing property acquisitions in Oxbow and for the In-Town Levees.
- Build in-town flood protection systems for key portions of downtown Fargo.
- Procure a Public Private Partnership (P3) Developer.
“I’m happy to see more is going into construction and land acquisitions. That’s really where it has to start to go, and we’ve been doing so much design, design, design, it’s nice to see us finally getting to doing things as part of the project,” said Tim Mahoney, Mayor of Fargo.
The Diversion Authority Fiscal Year for 2016 (FY16) is on a calendar year basis, which will begin January 1, 2016 and end December 31, 2016. The budget will now go to the six entities that make up the Diversion Authority for their review.
The budget assumes the following will occur in 2016:
- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) will issue its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Diversion Project
- The Preliminary Injunction for construction of the OHB Ring Levee will be lifted, and
- Federal appropriations will be identified