Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee Meeting Minutes

September 30, 2020

Public Outreach Meeting Minutes        

The Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee met in-person and virtually on September 30, 2020. The following committee members were present: Rodger Olson, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Jake Gust, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Shelly Carlson, Moorhead City Council Member; Ken Pawluk, Cass County Commissioner; Rick Steen, Cass County Commissioner; Grant Weyland, Clay County Commissioner and Katie Mastel, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chambers.

The following committee members were absent: Bernie Dardis, Mayor City of West Fargo; Gerald VanAmburg, BRRW Manager and John Strand, Fargo City Commissioner.

Others present:  Joel Paulsen, FMDA Executive Director; Eric Dodds, Sadie Moen, Tammy Jo Taft and Rocky Schneider, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. and Jason Bensen, Cass County.

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Olson at 2:10 pm.


Mr. Steen made a motion to approve the meeting minutes from July and August and Mr. Gust seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Legislative Topics

The Water Topics Overview Committee met in Fargo last week. A tour was taken to the Diversion Inlet and Wild Rice structures. The tour was very well received, and the attendees were impressed with the progress. For those that were unable to attend the bus tour, a virtual tour can be viewed at FMDIVERSION.gov/tour.

There is a State Water Commission meeting next Thursday and we will be going through the process to obtain funding. The request has been reduced due to the concern about the shortfall in oil revenues. Mr. Paulsen indicated that we are in line with the 2020 cash budget supported by the cash on hand and revenue for next year.


With the approval of the CLOMR, approximately 700 letters along with maps and information will go out to property owners in early October.



Last month we asked for review and comments on the draft communications plan. Due to P3 scheduling, we have moved the approval date to December. Please continue to provide your input and comments.


Mr. Schneider indicated that we continue to get more engagement with the podcast post. Another podcast will be completed this month. 

Web Map

Month                        Map Items Viewed/Month            Average items viewed/per day

August 2020                         403                                                     13.43

July 2020                               305                                                     10.17


2,867 views from 1,685 visitors

Average time on the site = 2:58

6,803 page views


1,866 minutes of watch time

10,764 impressions

919 views +2 subscribers

Most viewed Wild Rice Construction Update, August Inlet Construction Update, Animated Flyover


3 tweets with 4,606 impressions

2 mentions and 37 profile visits


Mr. Schneider indicated that the videos are done every month, generally. Mr. Gust commented that it was great to see all of the changes and progress from last month.




Major General Diana M. Holland will be visiting tomorrow to attend the board meeting and tour the site.


Mr. Paulsen completed his first podcast with Daron Selvig. We will continue to do them in the future, and it was suggested that crop insurance, mitigation, and flowage easements could be upcoming topics.


Mr. Olson indicated that the bus tour appeared that it was well-received and asked if that is something that we should be using as a tool for the public and board members. He stated that it would also be a good way to connect with the media.

Mr. Paulsen indicated that Kris Bakkegard will be available to do board tours at the site; Mr. Schneider indicated that October 16 might be the next potential visit.

Mr. Paulsen also stated that we have an excellent group of candidates for the director of communications position and will be doing interviews next week with an anticipated hire date of November 1.


Meeting adjourned at 3:01 pm