MFDA Public Meetings will Provide Crop Insurance, Flowage Easement Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FARGO, ND (October 27, 2022) – The Metro Flood Diversion Authority will host public meetings next week to provide information on supplemental crop insurance programs and flowage easements.

Producers in the upstream mitigation area portion of the project, which lies south of the planned route for a 20-mile earthen embankment, are eligible for free supplemental crop insurance programs. When the FM Area Diversion operates during significant flood events, land in the upstream mitigation area will incur additional water. To protect producers’ crops from damage due to project operation, the MFDA will provide insurance to cover planting delays as a result of the diversion’s operations as well as crop-loss insurance in the rare event of a summer flood large enough to cause project operation.

The MFDA contracted with Watts & Associates, a leading developer of crop insurance policies across the United States, to develop the insurance programs. After a series of meetings with a focus group of impacted producers to walk through the process, address concerns and customize the policies, Alex Offerdahl, with Watts & Associates, will share the draft policies. These programs will be provided at no cost to producers in the upstream mitigation area and will supplement their existing federal crop insurance benefits. They will take effect by March 2027, shortly before the FM Area Diversion will be ready to operate.

The meeting also will address flowage easements for landowners in the upstream mitigation area. Since project operations during times of significant flooding will result in water on land in this area, the MFDA collected independent appraisals and calculated one-time payments, based on risk and water levels, for those who will be impacted. Landowners received appraisals and purchase offers in February, and this meeting seeks to answer any outlying questions for those who have yet to sign and receive payment. The easements must be acquired by this winter to maintain the construction schedule for delivering permanent, reliable flood protection to the Fargo-Moorhead metro community by 2027.

The MFDA, in partnership with Watts & Associates and independent land agents, will host two meetings with the same presentation information to accommodate different schedules:

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at the Hickson Community Center, Main Street, Hickson, North Dakota
  • 8:30 a.m. Thursday, November 3, 2022, at the Clay County Courthouse, Meeting Room A/B (3rd Floor), 911 11th St. N., Moorhead, Minnesota

About the Metro Flood Diversion Authority

The MFDA is a permanent North Dakota political subdivision that is cooperatively implementing the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion comprehensive project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The MFDA works in partnership with the Red River Valley Alliance in a public-private partnership as well as the City of Fargo, City of Moorhead, Cass County, Clay County and the Cass County Joint Water Resource District. More information is available at www.FMDiversion.gov.

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Upstream Mitigation Area Background/Timeline

August 2020: Partners complete FM Area Diversion studies and preliminary designs

October 2020: FEMA issues a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR), the first step in acknowledging the changing
floodplain

December 2021: An independent appraisal company completes appraisals on properties in the upstream mitigation area
(UMA)

April 2021: Independent land agents and appraisers begin meeting with property owners in the UMA

July 2021: Public meetings in North Dakota share information on the UMA and programs that will be available once
construction is completed

November 2021: Crop insurance focus groups begin as a way to determine producers’ needs following construction

January-February 2022: Cass County Joint Water Resource District in North Dakota and Moorhead-Clay County Joint
Powers Authority in Minnesota approve the first two phases of flowage easement appraisals

February-March 2022: Landowners receive a packet detailing the process, their appraisal and the corresponding offer, as
well as information on how to negotiate and reach a resolution with their land agents

March 2022: Public meetings in North Dakota and Minnesota take place to discuss the packets with property owners

July 2022: Property owners who have not completed the process receive a reminder and copies of their offers

October 2022: Landowners who have not signed for the easement receive notice that they have 90 days to complete the
process before their case must go into eminent domain

Early November 2022: Public meetings hosted to provide final flowage easement information as well as details
on the additional, free insurance programs available to producers in the UMA

Late November 2022: Parcels with unsigned flowage easements begin moving into eminent domain

See full press release here 

See invitation here