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Dave Olson, Published September 14 2012

Diversion Authority, West Fargo work on land purchase

WEST FARGO – The Flood Diversion Authority has given staff the go-ahead to negotiate a purchase agreement with the city of West Fargo to buy about 20 housing lots in the city’s Hayden Heights addition.

West Fargo, which acquired the lots after special assessments went unpaid, offered the properties to the Diversion Authority for the cost of the outstanding assessments, which total $524,539.

The deal is a win for the city and the authority, said Mark Vaux, West Fargo’s economic development and community services director.

Diversion Authority members agreed, stating at a meeting this week that because a precise alignment of a diversion proposed for the Fargo-Moorhead area has yet to be determined, the future of Hayden Heights remains unclear.

Diversion officials said if they don’t buy the land and a diversion alignment winds up leaving the addition at risk of flooding, the authority might have to buy the properties later, after they have been built on.

If the Diversion Authority purchases the lots and the Hayden Heights addition is protected from flooding, the authority can sell the lots, perhaps for more than it paid for them, officials said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555