January 18, 2022

Commissioner Chad Peterson Takes Helm of MFDA Board of Authority


FARGO, ND (January 18, 2022) – Leadership of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority’s (MFDA) Board of Authority recently changed with the new year as Cass County Commissioner Chad Peterson assumed the chairperson role following the completion of Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson’s term. Peterson has served on the board since 2014 and was the vice chairperson through 2021.

“I am honored to serve as chairman of the MFDA for 2022. Over the past year, both local and federal partners made great strides forward. From securing funding to substantive progress on construction, everyone involved should be proud that we are one year closer to permanent, reliable flood protection for our part of the Red River Valley,” Peterson said. “That said, even with all the accomplishments over the past year, the work is far from complete. The MFDA needs to switch from an organization that was built to advocate and communicate to an organization that needs to be nimble and responsive to impacted citizens and construction crews to ensure there is no delay in construction progress. On a project of this scale, that will be no easy task, but with the continued cooperation of our local, state and federal partners, I have no doubt that we will get there.”

Carlson transitioned into the role of chairwoman in late January 2021 to complete the yearlong term for former Moorhead Mayor Jonathan Judd, who was appointed as district court judge in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District.

“I was proud to be chairwoman during 2021, which was a monumental year for the Diversion,” Carlson said. “First, the MFDA achieved financial close of the P3 (public-private partnership) agreement, the first P3 flood management project ever in North America. Second, the MFDA signed the $569 million federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, saving millions in taxpayer dollars. And third, the state of North Dakota committed to funding the remaining $435 million needed to complete the project. 2021 will be remembered as the year the MFDA secured its financial plan, ensuring reliable, permanent flood protection will happen the near future.”

The MFDA Board of Authority is led by 13 members who represent stakeholder entities in the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion project, which will provide permanent, reliable flood protection to Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead, Minnesota; and surrounding communities.

“The Board’s commitment to the community has been astounding, and I know this will continue under Chad’s leadership,” said Joel Paulsen, MFDA executive director. “With their help, we have secured the necessary funding and permits to complete the FM Area Diversion. While completing flood mitigation efforts is incredibly important to all of us in the region, it’s also been gratifying to see the work of the Board and our partners recognized nationally and internationally. I’m looking forward to more achievements this year as we move to the next phase of construction.”

Board members are appointed by the Fargo City Commission, Moorhead City Council, Cass County Commission, Clay County Commission, Cass County Joint Water Resource District, and the West Fargo City Commission. The chairperson role rotates among the mayors of the City of Fargo and City of Moorhead as well as a member of the Cass County
Commission. With Peterson’s move to chairman in 2022, Dr. Tim Mahoney, Fargo mayor, assumes the role of vice chairman.

The MFDA is the governing authority managing the FM Area Diversion. The project is designed to provide permanent, reliable flood protection to the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. Construction on the FM Area Diversion began in 2017 with expected completion of the project by 2027. For more information about the MFDA, visit FMDiversion.gov.


For additional information or high-resolution photos, contact info@fmdiversion.gov or Amy Wieser Willson at amy@neonloon.com or 701-367-2231.

See full press release here