The proposed resolution by Fargo City Commissioner Tony Grindberg to not activate a special assessment to cover the $120 million shortfall in Diversion Funding is meaningless. The city commission has no authority in this special assessment matter, and cannot assure anyone anything, regardless of their intent.
The same resolution, if considered and approved by the Diversion Authority Board, would also be meaningless. They cannot assure anyone that special assessments will not be levied.
The $725 million Special Assessment District was created by the Cass County Joint Water Resource District in May of 2015. It has under Section 9.08 and Section 9.09 of the Diversion, Joint Powers Agreement a direct mandate to levy and certify special assessments to cover all debt obligations, whenever any shortfall in funding shall occur.
If the Diversion Authority should proceed with this project with the funding as it now stands, we the property owners in Fargo and Cass County will pay special assessments. First, $120 million to bring the funding level up to the $2.75 billion as estimated by the Diversion Authority, and another $250 million to bring the funding level to $3 billion, which is the general consensus of most everyone else. If the overruns and additions bring the cost of this project to $3.35 billion, we will have paid $725 million in special assessments, the total amount assessed and levied by the Water Resource District. Now, if the cost of this project should reach or approach $4 billion, the Water Resource District will have to create a new Special Assessment District to fund an additional $650 million.
In summary, if the Diversion Authority plans to proceed with this project, the property owners of Fargo and Cass County should be prepared to pay up to $1.4 billion in special assessments