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Forum staff reports, Published May 08 2013

Hoeven says bill containing F-M diversion authorization reaches Senate floor

WASHINGTON – A federal bill containing authorization for a Fargo-Moorhead diversion project reached the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday.

The 2013 Water Resources Development Act, which contains support for the $1.8 billion metro flood diversion channel, could be passed by next week, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a news release.

“I think we’re in good shape,” Hoeven said. “We’ve worked with leadership on both sides of the aisle.”

Hoeven said getting the bill passed next week still depends “a little bit” on if any amendments are of-fered. Passing the bill next week would be a “big step forward” for the project, Hoeven said in the release.

The diversion has yet to be authorized and fully funded by the federal gov-ernment. The total federal share is roughly $800 million.

Funding for the project was not included in Presi-dent Barack Obama’s 2014 budget proposal released last month.

“We need to move it ahead,” Hoeven said in the release. “We need to put the cost and hardship of annual flood fights behind us.”