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FARGO-MOORHEAD DIVERSION

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Ryan Richard built a new farmstead when the original plan for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Diversion threatened his original farmstead. But the route of the revised diversion project now runs through his new farmstead, a setback he said will cost him millions of dollars.
The funding commitment completes the federal government's $750 million share of the $3.2 billion flood-control project to protect the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.
Construction of the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion could bring up to 7,000 jobs over six years.
Richland and Wilkin counties have identified housing as the key priority for spending the settlement in their dispute with the Metro Flood Diversion Authority. Lawyers for the diversion estimated 'conservatively' that litigation delays were costing the project $70 million per year from inflation.

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Inflation resulting from delays caused by legal challenges have increased the project's cost from $2.75 billion to $3.2 billion, but officials say approximately $830 million in savings will come from low-cost financing and efficiencies through a novel private-public partnership
The Clemenson-Smith 1 1/2 miles from Horace, N.D., was the first in the area to be homesteaded in 1871. Now, 150 years later, the family faces a future with half of the farm sold to make way for the diversion channel that is part of a $2.75-billion flood-control project to protect the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.
The 4-mile project is expected to take three years in the area of Oxbow, Hickson and the Wild Rice River.
Three sound plans moved forward this year.
The bonding bill will provide $435.5 million to Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project, fulfilling the state's commitment to the ambitious endeavor. The massive package draws on earnings from the state's $8.3 billion oil tax savings account, known as the Legacy Fund, to pay back the bonds to investors in 20 years or fewer.
Work will start soon to raise a four-mile stretch of Interstate 29 south of Fargo that will elevate the freeway above the 500-year floodplain, keeping it high and dry when the metro flood diversion operates in extreme floods.

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In a surprising display of harmony between the two chambers of the Legislature, senators voted unanimously on Thursday, April 8, to pass the bonding package in the same form the House of Representatives backed in February. The bill will now go to Gov. Doug Burgum's desk.
If the bill becomes law, North Dakota's pledge to the ambitious Fargo flood-prevention endeavor would jump from $750 million to $870 million. Other funds for the $2.75 billion project are due to come from the federal government and sales taxes levied in Cass County.
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said the original proposal he unveiled at a press conference earlier this month will be withdrawn and a more modest package worth nearly $800 million will take its place as the leading contender to land on the governor's desk.

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