Tracker Pixel for Entry

Letter to the editor from Trana Rogne on the Diversion

| Letters to the Editor | January 24th, 2016

To the editor:

The Saint Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has recently released a document touting the value of the Alternative Delivery plan, called the P3, for funding the FM Diversion.

The P3 funding is a private public partnership to fund projects that were not funded in the Water Resource Reform and Development Act of 2014.

Among the reasons stated in this document for using the P3 funding method are the following:

“It will save the federal government $400 million.”

This is because Diversion Channel Non-Federal Sponsor (the Northern Reach) of the project is a local project. It is clear the federal government is not going to fund the Northern Diversion Channel. The only ones who can make up that lost federal share of $400 million are the taxpayers in North Dakota.

The state of North Dakota will only put in so many dollars. Fargo/West Fargo will be paying the extra federal share. Of course Moorhead will not be paying for Fargo's growth.

“The P3 relocates the federal risk.”

A private contractor who is to build the project is to take the risk. What is the risk that the Corp (federal government) does not want to take? Is it a financial risk? If that risk is too big for the federal government, who is this private contractor or group of contractors who is big enough to take that risk? If it is a risk of failure of the high-hazard dam or any of the miles of levees, it is a condemnation of the whole project.

The Diversion Channel Non Federal Sponsor (Northern Reach) is to be built by a P3 contractor and the Southern Embankment (Southern Reach) is to be built by the Corps, as they, the Corps, are more qualified to do it. Which one, the Diversion Channel or the Southern Embankment (which is just a long high-hazard dam), has more financial risk or a higher risk of failure? If the project is sound, there should be no shuffling of risk to others. The private contractor when faced with a failure of finances or project failure can file bankruptcy leaving North Dakota holding the bag.

“The P3 will reduce exposure and future cost to FEMA.”

This may very well be true, without flood insurance FEMA will not pay flood loss claims.

“The project is shovel ready.”

It is not shovel ready; all design work is not completed and contracts are not ready to be signed.

“Local funding is secured.”

The voters and West Fargo rejected the assessment district as a backup to the funding means chosen by the Diversion Authority. Also the assessment district is still in court. With talk of a new sales tax it is presumptuous to state that local funding is secured.

The Buffalo Red River Water Resource District has refused to approve the FM Diversion budget for 2015 and has not approved the 2016 budget.

The Minnesota contribution to the project is in grave doubt so that $100 million will be made up by Fargo taxpayers, as North Dakota will not be paying Minnesota's share of the project. Minnesota has already spent millions on flood protection for Moorhead.

If the P3 funding is authorized, Keith Berndt, Cass County administrator and a member of many committees of the Diversion Authority, is right -- Fargo taxpayers will pay for this project.

Trana Rogne

Kindred ND 58051

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Savanna’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Friday and will move to the U.S. House of Representatives.The bill, S. 1942, is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band…

Culture

Drink n’ Destroy

by Logan Macrae

Pixeled is every 1980’s nerd’s wet dream. This is the kind of place that you sat in your parent’s basement and dreamt about. Contemplating what college might look like, and through your braced teeth, you took a wheezy breath,…

Saturday, December 15th, 3-6pmJunkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave N, MoorheadCome bare the elements with us for a good cause. Bring your spare winter gear to be donated to Churches United for the Homeless. Coats, gloves, boots,…

by Josh Boscheejoshua.boschee@yahoo.comphoto courtesy of Mitch MarrEight words that perfectly describe the beautiful spirit of Kim Winnegge."I have given my whole life to words."Those of us who knew her remember these words as a…

Gadfly

Affluenza

by Ed Raymond

What happens if conspicuous consumption becomes global?The latest National Geographic has an editorial “The Global Peril of Inequality” by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond which the entire world should read. The author of many…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comUs North Dakotans love our Knoephla soup. I am no exception. I have fond childhood memories of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen making this dumpling soup. From then until today, my taste buds go…

Music

Snow and Flurry

by HPR Contributor

by Jacques Harvieux jacquesthejock@gmail.comMosh pit etiquette 101: The mosh pit is located front and center of the stage.Create a sizeable ring.When the music starts unleash mayhem. If you fall - get up immediately.If somebody…

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl” director Marielle Heller beautifully translates another personal autobiography to excellent results. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is based on the confessional 2008 memoir of literary forger Lee…

SEBEKA, Minnesota – Nearly a century ago the nation was racked by inclement weather, soaring unemployment, and despair following World War I and the lucrative Roaring 20s. The 1930s were an era of dust storms and lunch lines,…

by Ryan Jankeryan.janke78@gmail.comFargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story: The Musical” which is underway at the Stage at Island Park and will run through December 22. It has been promoted as a show both…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comphotography by Logan MacraeEver wish you could go to your favorite brewery without leaving your house? Finally, you can (sort of). Kilstone Brewing is now doing limited can releases of some…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

“(Søren) Kierkegaard…has opened our eyes to the shallowness of much of our pseudo-Christian life, and to the outright deception in politics which Christianity has been made to serve.” - William Hubben“The people starve…