Diversion Board of Authority Monthly Meeting from July 23, 2020 Minutes

Monthly Meeting
Virtual & In-Person meeting
July 23, 2020
3:30 PM


An in-person and virtual meeting of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority was held on July 23rd, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. with the following members present in-person and videoconference: Dr. Tim Mahoney, Fargo City Mayor; Johnathan Judd, Moorhead City Mayor; Bernie Dardis, West Fargo City Mayor; Shelly Carlson, Moorhead City Council Member; Mary Scherling, Cass County Commissioner; Chad Peterson, Cass County Commissioner; Rick Steen, Cass County Commissioner; Kevin Campbell, Clay County Commissioner; Chuck Hendrickson, Moorhead City Council Member; Dave Piepkorn, Fargo City Commissioner; Grant Weyland, Clay County Commissioner; John Strand Fargo City Commissioner and Rodger Olson, Cass County Joint Water Resource District Manager.

No Board of Authority members were absent.

Others present: Joel Paulsen, Executive Director FMDA; Jason Ehlert, ND State Building & Construction Trades Council; John Shockley, Ohnstad Twichell; Sadie Moen, AE2S; Martin Nicholson, PGM Advisor; Kris Bakkegard, Director of Engineering, FMDA and Paul Barthel, Jacobs.


MOTION, passed

Mr. Campbell moved and Mayor Judd seconded to approve the minutes from June, 2020. Motion carried.


MOTION, passed

Mr. Hendrickson moved and Mr. Steen seconded to approve the order of the agenda. Motion carried.


MOTION, passed

Mr. Peterson moved and Mr. Steen seconded to approve the consent agenda as presented. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.


Executive Director Paulsen introduced Kris Bakkegard, the new director of engineering.

Mr. Paulsen shared the Key Activities Schedule; it outlines the P3 schedule going forward.

The State Water Commission reached out in a letter to see if the Diversion Authority had any funds that they would be willing to defer based on the current status of the Resources Trust Fund.

Currently, the Resources Trust Fund is not accepting nor approving any new applications due to loss of incoming revenues due to the lower oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the current financial status of the Diversion Authority, approximately $22 million has been identified as possibly able to be deferred back to the Fund. The Diversion Authority will have a better idea of what State funding will be needed when the P3 bid is finalized.


The P3 meetings continue to be held and the final RFP will be sent to developers on September 24th with the technical proposals from the developers due on November 11th and their financial proposals due on December 11th.


Ms. Williams provided the following Project updates:

  1. Diversion Inlet Structure Construction

Structure includes 3-50 ft. wide Tainter gates. The current construction completion date is 7 June 2023. Anticipated remaining schedule:

2020: Foundations/site work, control structure, dam walls.

2021: Concrete piers/abutments, control building.

2022: Install bridge deck, gates, and operating machinery.

2023: Paint gates, seed.

2024: Turf established.

  1. Wild Rice River Structure Construction

Structure includes 2-40 ft. wide Tainter gates. The required construction completion date is 22 October 2023. Anticipated schedule:

2020: Foundations/site work, control structure, approach walls, dam embankment.

2021: Dam walls, control building, dam embankment.

2022: Control building, dam embankment.

2023: Complete excavation, dam embankment, seed.

2024: Complete gate installation. Turf established.

  1. Red River Structure Design

Structure includes 3-50 ft. wide Tainter gates. Physical model (1:40 scale) is being used to test a number of design alternatives and a virtual meeting for the Sponsors and Agency partners is being scheduled between 3 and 14 August 2020. The design remains on schedule. The 35% plans and specs review by the DA is complete and the 65% review is scheduled to begin in October 2020. Final plans and specs are scheduled to be completed in September 2021.

  1. Southern Embankment – Reach SE-1 (Western Tieback)

The 95% design for the Western Tieback will be provided for DA review on 27 July 2020. Final plans and specs are scheduled to be available September 2020. Construction contract award could be delayed until 3rd quarter FY21 due to land acquisition.

  1. Southern Embankment – Reach SE-2A

Detailed design is proceeding. The 35% design review by the DA is scheduled for September 2020 and we anticipate having final plans and specifications by November 2021. Rock Island District is assisting with design for Reaches SE-2A, SE-2B and SE-4.

  1. I-29 Raise Design

Being designed by Houston Moore Group (HMG) and constructed by the Corps. The 90% design review began on 22 June 2020. Final plans and specifications are scheduled to be available late September-October 2020. Award of a construction contract is anticipated in 2nd quarter FY21.

Ms. Williams also indicated that there are currently 22 subcontractors from Ames involved in the Project, 14 of which are currently on-site.


Mr. Shockley presented the Resolution Establishing The Procedures And Protocols for Accepting Funds Derived From Land Sales And Rent From The Cass County Joint Water Resource District. This would turn over any funds received from land and property sales and rent, less applicable expenses to the Diversion Authority.

 MOTION, passed

Mr. Steen moved and Mr. Hendrickson seconded to approve the Resolution Establishing the Procedures and Protocols for Accepting Funds Derived from Land Sales and Rent from the Cass County Joint Water Resource District. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.


The joint findings will be submitted to the administrative law judge in August; she will have 60 days to make a recommendation regarding the potential for a revised permit from the MNDNR after their 60-day review period. We could potentially have a determination at the end of the year.


ND Legislative - Water Topics Overview Committee Recap

Mr. Olson gave an update on the following topics:

Executive Director Paulsen presented to the WTOC Committee, virtually, on June 4, 2020. He provided an update on the Diversion Authority and USACE projects that are currently underway in the state.

Property Owner Outreach/CLOMR

The CLOMR has been received back from FEMA and upon approval, the maps and information packets will go out to the affected property owners along with a letter from the Diversion Authority.

 Communication Plan

The Focus Group findings concluded that word of mouth is important, and we should be as visible as possible. The final plan will be presented at the September Board meeting.


Mr. Olson indicated that the videos are being viewed on the website based on the number of hits that have been received.

Drain 27

Will be used to mitigate the land that was disturbed during the construction. Two public meetings have been held with good turnout and good feedback.


Mrs. Scherling gave an update on land management projects currently underway since the Committee did not have a meeting this month.

Mrs. Scherling reported that they continue to make good progress.  They are continuing to follow through with the LRED and property owners have been invited to the August 3rd and 17th Commission meetings.


Mayor Dardis thanked the team for the opportunity to be a part of the team and thanked Mr. Thorstad for his years of service.

Mr. Paulsen reviewed the following contracting actions for final approval:

HMG Task Order 17, Amendment 9 – services during construction - $221,301

HMG Task Order 21, Amendment 8 – P3 request for proposal support - $225,896

WP-43G OHB Wetland Mitigation – reject all bids


Mr. Paulsen indicated that the Oxbow Hickson-Bakke Ring Levee Wetland was publicly bid on July 14, 2020, and three bids were received.

Of the bids received, the lowest was $2,097,979 with the highest being $3,982,664. The Engineer’s Opinion of Probable Cost is $1,414,975 therefore, Mr. Paulsen is asking for a recommendation to reject all bids.

MOTION, passed

Mr. Steen moved and Mr. Piepkorn seconded to approve the task orders and reject all bids received for the wetland mitigation project. On a roll call vote, the motion carried.

Mr. Steen reported that the audit will be presented at the next meeting by Eide Bailly.

Dr. Mahoney introduced Commissioner John Strand; John replaces Commissioner Grindberg.



At 4:05 pm Mr. Piepkorn moved to go into Executive Session and Mayor Judd seconded the motion.


Board members returned to the Chambers at 5:17.

MOTION, passed

Mr. Campbell moved to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Peterson seconded the motion. Motion carried.

 Meeting adjourned at 5:19 p.m.