FARGO - The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority has decided it will try to change Minnesota regulators' minds about a dam permit they denied through discussion instead of challenging them in court.

The authority said Thursday, Oct. 27, that it will ask for a "formal contested case hearing" to provide more time for discussion with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said the authority proposes to form a work group made up of technical staff from both sides to better understand why the DNR denied the permit and if that's based on misunderstanding.

Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams asked Gov. Mark Dayton and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr to consider such a work group when she met with them Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Normally, if a permit applicant wanted to appeal a DNR decision, it would go through the court system.

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The dam south of Fargo is a key part of the diversion project because it would reduce the flow of water into the diversion channel and thereby reduce the impact to downstream communities.