Published June 27 2010
Officials to pitch flood protection in D.C.Local, county and state officials from the Red River Valley will gather Monday in Washington, D.C., to make their case for permanent flood protection.
The government leaders will meet with top officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the White House Office of Management and Budget during two meetings arranged by North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan.
The meetings mark another step in securing a Red River diversion to protect the Fargo-Moorhead area from spring flooding.
“In order for this to get built, it really needs to be a part of our presidential budget request, and that has everything to do with the Corps of Engineers and the Office of Management and Budget,” Dorgan said Thursday in a conference call with North Dakota media. “I’m very pleased that the key people in Fargo and Moorhead and Cass-Clay will be in Washington for these two meetings.”
In May 2009, Dorgan arranged a similar gathering of local, state and federal officials on Capitol Hill. That meeting focused heavily on the need for an oversight board to manage the project.
Local officials are now drafting a joint operating agreement, which would form a governing body to oversee the $1.46 billion project.
Under current plans, the diversion would be constructed as a half-mile-wide channel that would span 36 miles around Fargo on the North Dakota side of the Red River.
Watch for The Forum’s complete coverage from Washington, D.C.
Forum reporters Kristen Daum and Helmut Schmidt will be reporting from Monday’s diversion meetings on Capitol Hill. Check Inforum.com and listen to WDAY-AM 970 for updates throughout the day, and pick up Tuesday’s edition of The Forum for comprehensive coverage from the nation’s capital.
Local and state leaders will be meeting Monday with officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and the White House Office of Management and Budget to discuss plans for a Red River diversion.
Who's who at the D.C. meetings
- North Dakota Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy
- Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. Collin Peterson
- Peter Orszag, White House Office of Management and Budget director
- Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for civil works
- Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, commanding general and chief of engineers
- Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh, commander, Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Col. Jon Christensen, commander, St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Staff representatives from Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
- North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven
- Todd Sando, North Dakota’s assistant state engineer and director of water development, State Water Commission
- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
- Kent Lokkesmoe, director, Division of Waters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- Cass County Commission Chairman Darrell Vanyo
- Cass County Commissioner Scott Wagner
- Cass County Administrator Bonnie Johnson
- Cass County Engineer Keith Berndt
- Mark Brodshaug, manager of Southeast Cass Water Resource District
- Clay County Commissioner Grant Weyland
- Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker
- Fargo Deputy Mayor Tim Mahoney
- Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral
- Fargo Engineer Mark Bittner
- Fargo Senior Engineer April Walker
- Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland
- Moorhead city Manager Michael Redlinger
- Moorhead Engineer Robert Zimmerman
Here is a list of those slated to attend one or both of the meetings:
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541