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Mark Voxland, Published January 05 2013

Letter: River corridor study seeks more dialogue

I would like to invite Moorhead residents and other interested individuals and stakeholders to a public input meeting to gather feedback regarding development of the Moorhead River Corridor Study from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Hjemkomst Center.

As a result of the floods of 2009, 2010 and 2011, the city of Moorhead initiated a number of interrelated flood mitigation actions. One of the most visible actions is the proactive acquisition of flood-prone properties adjacent to the river. From the time acquisitions were initiated, the city has continued to field a number of questions and concerns relating to the future for these areas. Recognizing that a number of these issues and concerns needed additional analysis and discussion, the city of Moorhead and the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments initiated a project (Moorhead River Corridor Study) to explore and ultimately establish a comprehensive strategy, inclusive of policy recommendations, to address the issues, needs and opportunities identified along the river corridor.

To develop this study, a process has been formulated that will include a number of opportunities for public input and participation throughout the next year.

MetroCOG and the city of Moorhead have scheduled the initial public input meeting on Jan. 15.

At minimum, the study will address the following topic areas: 1) options for new trails/recreational facilities; 2) open space/community opportunities; 3) maintenance; 4) leasing options/alternatives; and 5) funding/revenue options.

A community dialogue on these topics is important, and I am hopeful Moorhead residents and other interested individuals and stakeholders will turn out to help us discuss the future potential for the river corridor in Moorhead.

Additional information on this project is available via MetroCOG’s website (www.fmmetrocog.org), which includes a survey that has been prepared to gather specific insight into community perceptions and priorities. Public comments on this phase of the River Corridor Study will be accepted until Jan. 25.

Voxland is mayor of Moorhead.