WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 07, 2010, 08:26 AM

Metro Flood Work Study Group votes in favor of owning a ND diversion

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The cities of Fargo and Moorhead are tonight the owners of a potential diversion project. Members of the Metro Work Flood Study Group made the decision in an eight to one vote. While the Mayor says it was an obvious choice, some members of the metro group had a hard time voting "yes."

Cass County Commissioner Darrell Vanyo says he's taking a leap of faith by voting in favor of Fargo and Moorhead owning a North Dakota diversion. Vanyo is uncomfortable because a list that spells out sponsor duties, one he says he's been asking for, for months still hasn't been produced.

“What are you limited to, in terms what you can do and you should say well, you can do this and you can't do this. That's it, that's what I want.

But Vanyo says he's confident city attorneys will follow through with a list, so for the sake of moving forward, he's voting yes.

“We can't have this linger on for months and years.”

Other board members also want a list drawn up, not just for them, but for future elected leaders.

“So it's very important for us to spell out what we're agreeing on because if there's a turnover of people, they need to see it in black and white.”

The only board member who's not supporting this decision is state senator Tom Fischer. He says the water resource districts don't agree with how things are moving, and he'll vote "no" until the issue is resolved.

“We're just uncomfortable with the fact that it's being moved without our being able to review it.”

As for the list of duties, city attorneys say there will be a copy for all members when the Joint Powers agreement is finalized this fall. The sponsor agreement will be signed formally next week by city leaders. Metro Group members are hoping to have Governors Hoeven and Pawlenty attend the event.