ND Senate Puts Restrictions on Fargo Flood Control Dollars - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Senate Puts Restrictions on Fargo Flood Control Dollars

Bismarck, ND -

While Fargo residents prepare for another flood, the North Dakota Senate votes to commit more money to building permanent flood protection.

With one exception.

"The state needs fed commitment that they will pay their share of the project they designed and not dump it on the rest of us," says Fairmont Senator Larry Luick. Luick offered the amendment during the Senate's debate on 1020 this afternoon.

The flood control project is still waiting to get authorization from the federal government.

Senator Luick is also concerned that Minnesota has shown no interest in the project.

Senator Terry Wanzek says, "it's too big of a deal to go into with only one partner ponying up the money. I'm ready to support this but only when see full federal money put into the project."

Those opposed to putting restrictions on the dollars, say it shows a lack confidence in the $2 billion project.

"It asks federal government to act first. I think it's important we demonstrate to the federal government and to ourselves that we believe in this project we will take the first step," says Senator Tim Mathern of Fargo.

Senator Tony Grindberg says, "We need to make a decision to move forward that for 200,000 people will give confidence there will be permanent flood protection."

For many Senators in this chamber, this bill is personal.

"What preparing for is the distance between top of head to ceiling. We're tired of fighting it," says Senator Tim Flakoll of Fargo.

Senator Judy Lee of West Fargo says, "we can not hold up this project, it's important to move forward."

"It's been 16 years since Grand Forks went through what it did. It's time to take care of Fargo," says Grand Forks Senator Lonnie Laffen.

While the bill puts the breaks on the full project until all of the federal dollars are committed, the states share can be used to build dikes and levees.

House bill 1020 dedicates $100 million toward flood control for Fargo.

The bill also caps the state's total contribution for the project at $450 million.

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