Senate OKs $75M in flood funds for FargoBISMARCK – A bill that provides $75 million for Fargo flood control unanimously passed the Senate on Thursday and could be finalized today in the House.
By: Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, INFORUM
BISMARCK – A bill that provides $75 million for Fargo flood control unanimously passed the Senate on Thursday and could be finalized today in the House.
House Bill 1020 provides the state’s share of the $161 million Southside Flood Control Project. It allocates $45 million in matching funds for the 2009-11 biennium and $30 million for 2011-13.
“This is good news for the project; there’s no question about that,” Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said. “Having a funding source and having 50 percent funding from the state, that’s good news.”
The funding is to be used for land purchases and construction, not for administration, engineering, planning or legal purposes.
Sen. Tom Fischer, R-Fargo, said the bill already had strong support from legislators, but recent flooding further reinforced the need.
“There’s not anyone in this room who doesn’t have a problem with water this year,” said Fischer, who also is chairman of the Southeast Cass Water Resource Board.
The bill also provides $500,000 to evaluate long-term flood control solutions in the Red River Valley.
The House did not concur with changes made to the bill, so it has been sent to a conference committee. Rep. Ken Svedjan, R-Grand Forks, said he doesn’t believe the differences are great and that an agreement will likely be reached on the bill today.
The Fargo flood control project will protect south Fargo to 4 feet above the 1997 flood crest of 39.57 feet.
Fischer said he expects work could begin this fall.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590