Diversion Authority Land Management

Committee Meeting Minutes
3:00 P.M. – Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Virtual Meeting
Fargo, North Dakota

PDF of the Land Management Meeting Minutes from May 27, 2020

Diversion Authority Land Management
Committee Meeting Minutes
3:00 P.M. – Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Virtual Meeting
Fargo, North Dakota

The Diversion Authority Land Outreach Committee met virtually on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The following committee members were present: Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling; Clay County Commissioners Kevin Campbell and Jenny Mongeau; Fargo City Administrator Bruce Grubb; Cass County Joint Water Resource District Manager Rodger Olson; Fargo City Commissioner John Strand; Moorhead City Engineer Bob Zimmerman and Fargo Division Engineer Nathan Boerboom.

The following committee members were absent: Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd; Moorhead City Council Member Chuck Hendrickson; Cass County Commissioner Duane Breitling and Horace Mayor Kory Peterson.

Others present: FMDA Executive Director Joel Paulsen; Eric Dodds and Rocky Schneider Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., and Adam Altenberg, MetroCOG.

Mrs. Scherling called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

Agenda Approval
Mr. Campbell moved to approve the agenda as presented and Mr. Boerboom seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Minutes Approved
Mr. Zimmerman moved to approve the minutes from April 22, 2020 and Mr. Olson seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Property Acquisition Status Report
Progress continues to be made in the acquisitions and negotiations with property owners. There is still resistance from some property owners which might require Quick Take action in the next few months.

The I-29 raise is currently one month behind schedule but continues to track on budget at this time.

Bio/Geo Monitoring Program Status Report
The program continues to make progress. 349 out of 376 agreements are currently in place; 150 have Rights of Entry in place.

Rural Impact Mitigation Program
The Project will impact approximately 24 existing farmsteads and rural businesses. Based on the importance of these properties, we have developed and recommend approval of the RIMP. It is estimated that that the RIMP will cost approximately $5 to $10 million above the current budget.

Mr. Olson moved to approve presenting the RIMP to the FMDA Board for final approval and Mr. Zimmerman seconded the motion. With a roll call vote, the motion carried.

Planned Outreach to Property Owners
An outreach plan will be going out to property owners regarding the Southern Embankment and to those upstream that will be affected. Once the CLOMR is approved, the Executive Director will send letters and packets to the 400 property owners (425 parcels). The packets will include maps and informational pages that will highlight the Project milestones. It is anticipated that the CLOMR will be approved by month-end and packets going out in late June or early July.

Committee Update for FMDA Board
Following is the update that Mr. Dodds has put together for the FMDA Board.

Land Acquisition and Property Mitigation Status

  • • Appraisals – 5 approved since last meeting (4/15/2020 – 5/20/2020)
  • • Acquisitions – 10 parcels acquired since last meeting (4/15/2020 – 5/20/2020)
  • • Formal Negotiations Process Status Update
  • • Farmland Leases – 40 fully executed to date, working on 1 additional
  • • Rights of Entry – being secured to advance the Southern Embankment design
  • • Bio/Geo Access Agreements – Secured 349 of 375 to date
  • • Mitigation Plan – Submitted final draft to ND Office of State Engineer for approval
  • • Ag Risk Study – Complete and posted to Project website
  • • Farmstead Relocation Plan – Seeking approval from DA Board
  • • Crop “Insurance” Development – Held kick-off study with Watts & Associates
  • CCJWRD Update
    Mr. Olson indicated that the appraisals have triggered offers and counteroffers. Some have been reasonable while others have not been. Going forward, offers that are out of line will go to negotiations. They want to ensure that all property owners will be treated fairly and equally.

    Mr. Campbell indicated that a special meeting was held for landowners interested in a buyout. An appraisal was approved for a parcel along the river and it was negotiated so that the seller could retain hunting rights on the land. There is one other property in negotiations.

    A draft plan is currently under review. A promotional video will launch early June and there will be a virtual public engagement on Tuesday, June 16th from 12:00-1:00 PM More information can be found at www.fmmetrocog.org.

    Other Business
    There was no other business to discuss.

    Mr. Olson made a motion for adjournment and it was seconded by Mr. Campbell. Motion carried.

    The meeting adjourned at 3:54 p.m.