Fargo mayor: Dikework around Oxbow permitted by earlier federal judge's order

Oct 12, 2017

The Legislature's interim Water Topics Committee and the state Water Commission meet 10/12/17
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said there’s no reason to stop the construction of flood control structures around Oxbow.

A federal judge in Minnesota has ordered a halt to some parts of the FM flood control and diversion project, because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hasn’t issued permits for the project. Some upstream opponents have said all construction should stop until some agreement is worked out, and the Minnesota DNR issues the permits.

"That had already been in mediation, and decided by the same judge," Mahoney said. "The DNR also agreed Oxbow could finish what it had been authorized to do before."

Mahoney said some upstream people believe Oxbow shouldn't be able to do that.

"They (Oxbow) still need flood protection," Mahoney said. "It's a smart use of money and a smart use of time."

Mahoney said if its slowed down, construction would be delayed until next spring.

Mahoney told a joint meeting of the state Water Commission and the Legislature’s interim Water Topics Committee he’s got his fingers crossed that the task force set up by the Governors of Minnesota and North Dakota will come to an agreement – and the diversion project will move forward.