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Red River Valley Diversion Project "Plan B" almost ready for implementation

City, county, state and federal leaders came together in Fargo today to sign a new partnership agreement to move forward on Plan B of the Red River Diversion Project.

Senator John Hoeven was able to secure further federal funding for the project to a level of $750 million with the Project Partnership Agreement. This is in addition to the new $150 million in the President's budget for public-private partnership projects which include the Diversion. The Corps and Engineers and the Minnesota DNR have also signed off on the project - the last thing needed is the share of the cost from the state of North Dakota, which will be $300 million. Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling is the Chair of the Metro Flood Diversion Authority. She says she's hopeful the legislature can pass the funding before the end of the session.

"Without having that legislative intent from the state of North Dakota's Legislature, we are not able to do this in the most cost effective manner. It's really critical that we get that intent up front and when they only meet once every two years, now is the time to do it. We're going to be ready to roll here very shortly, and it's critical so I'm just humbly asking the North Dakota Legislature to consider this project, which protects 25 percent of the state's population, and truly an economic engine for North Dakota."

Governor Doug Burgum says going into the session, there were several unanswered questions about permitting and federal funding surrounding the diversion project, but those issues have since been resolved.        

"I think as the Legislature understands the importance of this project, and the efficiency of this project - in terms of how it's more tax efficient than other flood projects we've done across the state. And there is great desire in North Dakota to reach out after there's been a crisis - we've seen that in Grand Forks, and we've seen that in Minot. And this is an opportunity, the legislature sees this as an opportunity for us to be not only tax efficient in terms of the design and how we deliver it, but also - prevention doesn't cost as much as rebuilding a community."

North Dakota's share for the Diversion project is $300 million.

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