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Published July 09, 2009, 12:00 AM

$2M for flood-control study gets initial approval

Almost $2 million in federal money to continue the study of permanent flood-control options in Fargo-Moorhead received initial approval on Wednesday in a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

By: By Dave Roepke, INFORUM

Almost $2 million in federal money to continue the study of permanent flood-control options in Fargo-Moorhead received initial approval on Wednesday in a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

“It’s good news, of course,” said Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker.

The $1.9 million to continue the U.S. Army Corps feasibility study already under way was included in a $33 billion bill funding water and energy projects.

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan is chairman of the subcommittee that approved the funding.

Dorgan said the corps’ study of Fargo-Moorhead is vital because, although flood-control measures will need to be agreed upon locally, they will likely depend on federal cash. A favorable cost-benefit ratio is required for congressional funding, and that’s what the corps’ feasibility study is examining.

That study is expected to cost about $5.3 million, and the first results were unveiled in May. Dorgan said funding for the study needs to be approved on an annual basis.

The timeline presented in the study calls for establishing a preferred alternative by early next year. To hit that deadline and maintain the post-flood momentum for flood protection, the study needs consistent federal support, Walaker said.

“What it does is keep everything on track,” he said. “We don’t want to lose any of the intensity.”

Dorgan said the full Appropriations Committee is expected to vote on the bill today, and it should come to a vote on the Senate in a month or two. He figures it will pass without a problem.

“These are not controversial,” Dorgan said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535

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