ND State Engineer Approves Mitigation Plan for FM Area Diversion Project

Document outlines how Project will Mitigate Impacted Properties

The Metro Flood Diversion Authority announced today that it has received approval of the Property Rights & Acquisition Mitigation Plan (Mitigation Plan) for the Fargo Moorhead Area Diversion Project from the North Dakota State Engineer.

The Mitigation Plan guides how individuals impacted by the construction, operation or maintenance of the Project are compensated and mitigated for their loss.

“This is one of the most important elements for moving this Project forward,” Executive Director Joel Paulsen said. “The Mitigation Plan addresses conditions from the Minnesota DNR, the State of North Dakota and others that have been requested by communities and groups representing people impacted by the Project.”

Funding to implement the programs described in the Mitigation Plan has been included in the Project’s financial plan.

“We are doing our best to develop programs and policies to address Project impacts, along with providing fair compensation to impacted people,” Mayor of Fargo and Chair of the Diversion Authority Tim Mahoney said. “But we need to remember that the problem this Project solves is flooding, and that is important to all communities in the region.”

“Flooding is a real threat, and this spring we were reminded of the difficulties that can come from reliance on temporary measures and mass gathering of volunteers,” he added. “Having an approved plan to mitigate impacts to affected people is critical to the Project moving forward and providing the protection our communities need.”

The Mitigation Plan is more than 180 pages long and outlines key actions and programs that the Diversion Authority is taking to meet federal, state, and local requirements.

  • Defining what constitutes an impact
  • How and when necessary property and easements will be purchased for the Project
  • Identifying the impacts that require mitigation and how that mitigation is determined
  • How the Upstream Area is restored after the Project operates and how public lands like roads are repaired after a flood event when the Project operates.
  • Options for homes, structures, and cemeteries in the Upstream Mitigation Area that would be impacted if the Project operates

The Mitigation Plan also includes maps outlining the Project and Upstream Mitigation Area. The maps show the Upstream Mitigation Area in four zones that have different levels of impact and mitigation requirements. In total there are approximately:

  • 83 residential structures that require mitigation including 60 in Cass County and 14 in Clay County. There are two residential structures in Richland County and seven in Wilkin County, MN that require some form of mitigation.
  • 564 non-residential structures require mitigation. This includes commercial buildings, storage, barns, sheds and grain bins. 514, or 91% of these structures are in Cass and Clay Counties.

Impacted residents and property owners will be mailed detailed letters with individualized maps outlining their impact and mitigation steps this summer . Any resident or property owner with more questions can email info@FMDiversion.gov or call (701) 364-9111.