Gov. Jack Dalrymple today announced that the State Water Commission will cover the costs of a reconnaissance study to move forward with plans for a flood protection project along the Mouse River. The study is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help determine if the federal government will share in the costs of permanent flood protection for the city of Minot and surrounding areas. The State Water Commission voted today to provide $45,000 to fund the study.
The Souris River Joint Water Resource Board requested that the Corps conduct a reconnaissance study of the Souris River Basin in the United States, the first step in determining the Corps' participation in a flood control project. Corps officials have reported that there is no federal funding currently available to conduct the study. To avoid delays, the State Water Commission agreed to provide the study's funding. The study will be completed under Corps guidelines and with the understanding that the Corps remains willing to pursue federal participation in a flood protection project.
"The Water Commission understands how important it is that we continue to make progress in developing a project that protects Minot and surrounding areas from further flooding," said Dalrymple, chairman of the State Water Commission. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a critical partner in securing permanent flood protection and by funding this study we are making a good investment toward that goal."
The Water Commission agreed to contract Barr Engineering Co. of Bismarck to complete a reconnaissance study consistent with the Corps' requirements. The study will include an analysis of the potential federal investment in permanent flood protection and assessments of the potential costs, benefits and environmental impacts. If warranted, the study will lead to a project feasibility study and then project development.
Members of the State Water Commission are: Dalrymple, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Jack Olin of Dickinson, Harley Swenson of Bismarck, Larry Hanson of Williston, Arne Berg of Devils Lake, Maurice Foley of Minot, Douglas Vosper of Neche and Robert Thompson of Page.