Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee Meeting Minutes
2:00 P.M. – Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Fargo, North Dakota
The Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee met virtually on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The following committee members were present: Rodger Olson, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Bernie Dardis, West Fargo City Mayor; Kevin Campbell, Clay County Commissioner; Jake Gust, Cass County Joint Water Resource District; Shelly Carlson, Moorhead City Council Member; Rick Steen, Cass County Commissioner and Katie Mastel, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chambers.
The following committee members were absent: Grant Weyland, Clay County Commissioner; John Strand, Fargo City Commissioner; and Ken Pawluck, Cass County Commissioner.
Others present: Joel Paulsen, FMDA Executive Director; Johnathan Judd, Moorhead City Mayor; Tammy Jo Taft, Eric Dodds and Rocky Schneider, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.; Paul Barthel, Jacobs and Jason Ehlert, North Dakota Building Trades.
The meeting was called to order by Mr. Olson at 2:00 p.m.
Approval of minutes
Mr. Gust made a motion to approve the meeting minutes from May 27, 2020, and Mr. Campbell seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Water Topics Overview Committee
Executive Director Paulsen presented to the WTOC Committee, virtually, on June 4, 2020. He provided an update on the Diversion Authority and USACE projects currently underway in North Dakota. The main interest by the Committee was what the Diversion Authority was going to request for funding going forward. Currently, the Diversion Authority may be in a position where they might be able to defer state funding until later in the program.
MN Legislative Special Session Report
The Minnesota Legislature held a special nine-day session regarding a bonding bill to be used for flood projects for the Diversion Authority to utilize.
Executive Director Paulsen and Mr. Schneider met with Heather Keeler, DFL candidate. She will be replacing Ben Lien at the conclusion of the session; she has extensive experience in flood history.
Mitigation Plan Summary
Mr. Dodds gave an update on the campaign to notify and communicate with the upstream property owners. The packet will consist of letters, documents and detailed maps. Currently, we are awaiting final approval from FEMA as well as the CLOMAR approval.
The CCJWRD indicated that all negotiations are not coming to satisfactory conclusions and Diversion Authority will be asking them to approve requests to invite these property owners to the Cass County Commission meetings in August. CCJWRD will then move forward and ask the Commission for approval to implement the Last Resort Eminent Domain process. If approved, a 90-day notice will go to the property owners of the occupied properties.
The CLOMR is in the final stages of review by FEMA and we expect approval relatively soon.
Communications Plan Update and Schedule
The Communications Plan continues to move forward and make progress. The DRAFT plan will be presented to the Committee next month when the new members, Mayor Dardis and Commissioner Preston are present. We would also like to consider additional focus groups going forward.
Mr. Schneider gave a quick overview of the survey results. A good return was seen with Fargo residents at approximately 25%.
Of the respondents who viewed the project neutrally or favorably, the majority get their information from the local paper or tv news. These respondents would like more information from the local paper, direct mail pieces or email.
Of the respondents who viewed the project negatively, they are more likely to report often receiving news about the Project on social media or word of mouth than their
Ms. Taft reported that there have been good Tweets on the construction photo and the prevent plant document. She also reported that the Diversion Authority now has a LinkedIn page.
165 items viewed in May
5.50 average items viewed per day
2,275 sessions from 1,312 visitors
Average time on the site = 3:05 minutes
2,796 minutes of watch time
13,136 impressions with 721 views
7 new subscribers in the month of May
2 tweets with 3,417 impressions
13 mentions and 39 profile visits
Construction Video Updates
A lot of activity has been going on this month at the Diversion Inlet Control Structure with the driving of piling and the start of pouring concrete.
Earthwork is continuing at the Wild Rice Control Structure. A billboard will be going up along the Interstate showcasing the site.
Another public meeting to update property owners on the plan is planned for mid-July.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 2020
The meeting adjourned at 2:42 p.m.