“We’re hopeful that we can keep this moving,” says D-N-R Commissioner Tom Landwehr (LAND-ware) about “Plan B” for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion Project as the state moves toward a possible decision on permits. Landwehr says the project presumes a large contribution from both Minnesota and North Dakota — but there have been no discussions on what Minnesota’s share would be. He says, “We do know that, based on the overall size of the project, it’s not gonna be something that could be completely funded by a city or a county, and so my assumption is that there would have to be a state legislative action on this.”
Landwehr says at one point there was speculation that Minnesota’s share could be as much as 100 million dollars, but he says that number “has come down dramatically.” He notes that “Minnesota receives a relatively small proportion of the benefits from this project and therefore it’s always been assumed that Minnesota would have a small proportion of the cost.” But Landwehr says an actual number has not been determined.
The state is taking final comments on a revised environmental impact statement through November 29th. Landwehr indicates if it passes muster, a decision on permits would come “certainly… within several weeks.”