“The Puzzle is now complete”

Diversion Authority, Leaders Laud “Monumental” Bonding and Funding Package

FARGO, ND (April 21, 2021) Regional leaders responded with praise for the State of North Dakota’s political leadership following Governor Doug Burgum’s signing of the state’s landmark infrastructure bonding and funding bills today, guaranteeing funding for the construction of the FM Diversion Project.

The bonding bill includes $435.5 million to support construction of the Diversion Project, the remaining portion of the $850 million committed by the Legislative Assembly since the Project was envisioned after the 2009 flood.

“This is landmark legislation; it is the product of real creativity and agility in balancing the state’s desire to fulfill its commitment to the Project while addressing significant needs in all corners of the state. The work of the leadership on both sides of the aisle, and of our champions, Rep. Jim Schmidt (R-Huff) and Sen. Ron Sorvaag (R-Fargo), has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Joel Paulsen, executive director of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority (MFDA). The MFDA now takes on the task of completing the $2.75 billion project.

Moorhead Mayor, Shelly Carlson, said, “From my perspective, what was most notable was how legislators from all over North Dakota came up with solutions that allowed for a win-win so that support for the FM Diversion Project didn’t become a roadblock for other critical projects. I’ve been highly impressed by the ability of our neighbors to deliver this through a broad consensus.” Carlson is currently chair of the Diversion Board of Authority. “We cannot thank the legislators and their leadership enough for their support. Thanks to their efforts, the funding puzzle is now complete,” said Carlson.

With additional construction set to begin following the completion of the funding package, West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis noted that completion of the Metro Diversion Project is expected to be completed in 2028. “The journey toward permanent flood protection has been a long one and is not over yet. There is much left to do, but we know that protection is in our future and that we can count on it.”

Joel also thanked Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney, former chair of the MFDA, saying, “Mayor Mahoney has championed the Metro Diversion Project for many years with the State leadership in North Dakota, and we are forever grateful for his dedication and commitment.”

The MFDA is the governing authority managing the Diversion Project that is designed to provide permanent, reliable flood protection to the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The Diversion Project began construction in 2017 with completion planned for 2028. For more information about the MFDA, visit FMDiversion.gov.