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Heidi Shaffer, Published September 10 2010

Basin group meets with downstream communities

The Red River Basin Commission met with nine downstream communities since the last Metro Flood Study Work Group meeting.

Many of the downstream concerns are similar to those voiced at previous public meetings, said Lance Yohe, the basin commission’s executive director.

Basin officials will compile a report of the concerns and mitigation needs to present at the group’s next meeting on Oct. 7.

Hendrum, Minn., Mayor Curt Johanssen was part of those talks. The open communication is a good step, but asking communities to set a dollar amount for what extra flood protection will be needed to mitigate additional rises in the river is not the answer, he said.

Johanssen said he would like to see the group come up with a regional solution with no downstream im­pacts.

Downstream community leaders are also working with Denver-based law firm Lindquist & Vennum to develop a joint powers agreement regarding the diversion.

The basin commission will continue to hold monthly meetings with downstream leaders through the end of the year, Yohe said.

“Our goal is to keep communication open,” Yohe said.