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Helmut Schmidt, Published May 15 2010

Corps access to land for diversion study at 40 percent

About 40 percent of landowners have given permission to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to access land so officials can test it for Minnesota and North Dakota diversions around Fargo-Moorhead.

Permission is being sought from more than 200 landowners in the two states, Aaron Snyder, a project

co-manager, said.

Permission to access the rest of the land, particularly segments critical to construction of a diversion, will need to come in good order, he said.

“We’re trying to get some of our contracts out the door now,” Snyder said Friday. “We’d ultimately need full access within three months, maybe.”

While land access is important on both sides of the Red River, Fargo City Commissioner Tim Mahoney said it may be especially so in North Dakota.

Mahoney said unstable land the corps found in some areas could mean changing the project route, and “landowners might not even have their land used.”

Mahoney, who is also co-chairman of the Metro Flood Study Work Group, said he hopes county officials can convince landowners to allow access.