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Published June 14 2012

Full diversion board gives OK to project's first three buyouts

FARGO - Diversion Authority leaders have approved the first three buyouts of the Red River diversion project.

The buyouts are part of the authority's hardship policy, which aims to buy out property owners in affected areas of the project who are facing a medical hardship and need to sell their property now.

The three early buyouts had previously been recommended by three of the board's subcommittees after a vetting process that attracted eight applications. Diversion Authority members rubber-stamped those recommendations today during their monthly meeting.

They also gave authorization for appraisals to be done on the three homes, all of which are in Oxbow, N.D.

How swiftly the appraisals can be done will determine how soon the three property owners can be bought out of their homes, but consultants for the authority expect the process to take between three to five months.

Appraisal values - not assessed value - will help determine the buyout offers to the three properties. The properties' total assessed value amounts to about $750,000, a cost that will be shouldered by the Diversion Authority.

For more on this story, read Friday's Forum.