The federal appraisal process has begun on properties in the Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke, ND area which are affected by plans for a ring levee around the communities. The ring levee has an independent utility and will provide the communities with 500-year flood protection. In addition, the ring levee will protect the communities from water that would be stored upstream of Fargo-Moorhead as part of the F-M Area Diversion Project’s operation.
Due to some of the properties needing to be relocated, the Diversion Authority is working swiftly to make sure that land is available for those who want to relocate within those communities. In addition, those homes impacted within the staging area of the Diversion Project will also have the opportunity to relocate within the ring levee. The federal appraisal process will include discussions with homeowners to ensure a fair negotiation and acquisition process.
Since plans were finalized for the ring dike, the local real estate industry has rebounded with gusto in Oxbow. As of now, the vast majority of affected property owners in Oxbow have indicated to the Diversion Authority that they wish to relocate within Oxbow. With construction of the ring levee to begin by the end of the year, the timeline is relatively short for those who wish to relocate in the community and plans are being implemented to assure a smooth process.
The City of Oxbow, along with representatives from the Diversion Authority, will be meeting soon with the Home Builders Association and local builders to address the additional building demand within the city and to ensure those losing their homes have adequate options as they consider relocation.