North Dakota’s 64th Legislative Assembly is in session in Bismarck, and Governor Dalrymple has acknowledged the importance of the F-M Area Diversion Project by once again including funding for the Project in his two-year, $15.7 billion budget.
Included in the Governor’s budget for the State Water Commission is $69 million for the Diversion Project during the 2015-2017 biennium. The amount comes in addition to the $175 million approved during previous sessions. Legislators will spend the next few months considering the Governor’s recommendations and balancing the priorities of water projects across the state.
“We are thankful for the Governor’s continued commitment to provide flood protection for the residents of Fargo and Cass County,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. “Without support from the Governor and our State Legislators, we would not be as close as we are to achieving permanent flood protection for the 200,000 people the Diversion would protect.”
The Diversion Project will provide the Fargo (and Moorhead, MN) area with 100-year flood protection and the capability of fighting a 500-year flood with emergency measures.
“Never before in our state’s history have we undertaken such an ambitious, ongoing campaign to improve our roads and highways, expand water supply systems, advance flood control projects and develop affordable housing,” Dalrymple said. “These projects enhance the quality of our lives and support our growing economy.”
In addition, Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, the House majority leader, proposed that the state should provide $125 million to help the City of Fargo with internal flood protection which is separate from the Diversion Project, but which would be complementary to, and work in conjunction with, the Project. The funding would be used to continue building-up levees, construct floodwalls and acquire homes in flood-prone areas.