Gov. Jack Dalrymple and members of the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Board Authority attended meetings today in Washington, D.C. to press members of Congress and federal officials for a permanent flood protection project.
"Residents in the Fargo area have experienced four major flood events in the past five years and we made it very clear that this major economic region needs and deserves permanent flood protection," Dalrymple said. "We also made it clear that federal support in the way of funding and project development is critical because of the project's size and because there are numerous stakeholders including upstream and downstream communities, the state of Minnesota and Canada."
Dalrymple and Fargo-area officials discussed the need for permanent flood protection in meetings with Sally Ericsson, associate director for natural resources at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Roger Cockrell, staff member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. The local delegation provided background on the Fargo area's flood history, an update on progress to develop permanent flood protection and information about the economic impact of flooding in the Fargo area.
Fargo-area officials who participated in the meetings were Mayor Dennis Walaker, Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral, Cass County Commission Chairman Darrell Vanyo, Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt, The Chamber President and CEO Craig Whitney and Clay County Commissioner Grant Weyland.
To date, the North Dakota Legislature has appropriated $175 million towards a permanent flood control project in the Red River Valley. In all, the state has committed to providing as much as $450 million in state cost-share funding for permanent flood protection along the Red River.