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Andy Peterson, Published April 24 2013

Letter: Now is time for state to support diversion

The Greater North Dakota Chamber commends the efforts of the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo Chamber and all those who have worked to secure funding for permanent flood protection.

We support the Senate version of HB 1020, which provides Red River Valley flood control. This version requires the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project to obtain federal authorization, establish a project partnership agreement with the federal government, receive some federal money prior to construction, and secure State Water Commission approval before moving forward.

All North Dakotans, especially those who would be protected, should call or email their legislators and encourage them to support the Senate version of

HB 1020 that funds permanent flood protection.

North Dakota needs to move ahead with its commitment to this serious issue facing the future economic stability of eastern North Dakota. The Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project would protect

$14 billion in property value, 103,000 jobs, $4.3 billion in annual wages and $200 million in annual North Dakota income and sales taxes. It should also be noted that residents of Cass County and Fargo have passed three separate sales tax increases to fund the local share of the project.

We encourage everyone to find their legislators at www.ndchamber.com/take-action/action-alert-tools/ and send a quick email. Tell them that now is the time to support permanent flood protection in Fargo through the Senate version of HB 1020.

Peterson is president and CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber.