F-M Diversion Authority to seek new MN DNR permit

Feb 21, 2018

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney testifies before the Legislature's interim Water Topics Committee (2-21-18)
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority plans to file a new permit application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the proposed diversion project next month.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney told the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Committee – the application will be filed March 9th.

"The reason we want to get the permit application in is it takes three to six months to get it approved," Mahoney said in an interview after the meeting. "DNR wants us to move forward. We think it's a good sign."

This follows the work of a task force – established by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton – to try and reach some agreements on a path forward for the flood protection project.

Mahoney said time is of the essence.

"A delay in the project is $60 million a year," Mahoney said. "I'd rather not delay the timetable."

Mahoney said he wants to get the P-3 (Public-Private Partnership) people back to the table, and get the P-3 contracts out for next year.

"That could get construction back on track," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said he thinks the latest version of the plan will be more acceptable to upstream areas. He said the new proposal  would flood only about 600 acres of upstream land, and that land would not be agricultural land. Mahoney said he hopes to discuss this with Richland and Wilkin County authorities.