Burgum, Dayton appoint diversion task force members, set first meeting

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 11:30am

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton today announced the formation of a new Task Force to develop design principles and concept-level engineering solutions to achieve balanced flood risk management for the Fargo-Moorhead region, including upstream, downstream, and metro-area communities and properties. The two governors announced their intent to form the Task Force following a meeting in Moorhead earlier this month.

“Working closely with our Minnesota neighbors, we’re optimistic we can achieve a timely solution that protects lives, property and the economic engine that is the Fargo-Moorhead region from catastrophic flooding while also addressing upstream and downstream concerns,” Burgum said. “We’re deeply grateful to these task force members for agreeing to serve collaboratively on this issue of critical importance to both states.”

“There is broad agreement that the Fargo-Moorhead region needs a permanent solution for flood risk management. However, it is also essential that any solution meet the requirements of Minnesota Law and reflect the input of all affected Minnesotans,” Dayton said. “I thank Governor Burgum for his partnership in establishing this Joint Task Force. I look forward to working with him and our Task Force to achieve those goals.”

The Fargo-Moorhead Area Flood Diversion Task Force will be co-chaired by Burgum and Dayton, along with eight representatives appointed by the governor of each state. Each governor may also designate one or more surrogates to represent them in Task Force proceedings.

The first meeting of the Task Force will take place on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Task Force meetings will take place either in person or by phone and/or video conferencing, and will be open to the public. The Task Force will present its recommendations by Dec. 15, 2017.

Burgum has appointed the following North Dakota members to the Task Force:

  • Cass County Engineer Jason Benson
  • Fargo business leader and entrepreneur Ron Bergan
  • Richland County Commissioner Nathan Berseth
  • Greater North Dakota Chamber Board Chairman Bernie Dardis
  • Richland County farmer Craig Hertsgaard
  • Natural resources attorney Tami Norgard
  • Fargo City Commissioner John Strand
  • Grand Forks City Council member Ken Vein

Dayton has appointed the following Minnesota members to the Task Force:

  • Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams
  • Moorhead City Council Member Heidi Durand
  • Moorhead City Council Member Joel Paulsen
  • Clay County Commissioner Jenny Mongeau
  • Former Wilkin County Attorney Tim Fox
  • Treasurer of Buffalo-Red River Watershed District Mark Anderson
  • Hendrum Mayor Curt Johannsen
  • Norman County Commissioner Steve Jacobson

Governor Dayton has also designated Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr and Assistant Commissioner Barb Naramore as his potential surrogates for proceedings of the Task Force.

To read the full charter establishing the Fargo-Moorhead Area Flood Diversion Task Force, click here. The charter will be presented and considered at the first Task Force meeting on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.