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Forum staff reports, Published January 27 2011

West Fargo: Corps plans public meeting on proposed Red River diversion

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hold a public meeting in West Fargo to discuss the proposed Red River diversion, a corps official said Wednesday after Mayor Rich Mattern criticized the corps for poor communication.

Aaron Snyder, project manager for the corps, sent a project update via e-mail Tuesday to Metro Flood Study Work Group members. Mattern replied Tuesday night, asking why West Fargo had received no response to questions and requests.

“The city of West Fargo never got a response from you about holding meetings in West Fargo about the diversion alignment that all of us feel is important,” he wrote. “I also sent you an e-mail about sending West Fargo an official response to the letter and material supporting the western alignment that I handed you. Again, no response from you.”

Snyder responded to Mattern in an e-mail Wednesday.

“The Corps is actively working on a response to the information you provided, however we need some time to analyze the areas you identified,” Snyder wrote. “A formal letter is being developed and will be sent to the project sponsors, the Metro Work group, and the City of West Fargo within the next week.”

Snyder said the corps hopes to hold a public meeting on the diversion’s benefits and impacts in West Fargo in March.

“We’re really trying to balance the overall needs of the project, and we’re going to get out there as soon as we can, but we need to have good information available to share with the public,” he told The Forum on Wednesday.