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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 21, 2011, 06:47 PM

Diversion Plan meets with some skepticism

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - In 2 days local leaders will have a chance to make their case for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion plan to the Corp of Engineers. But there are some in the area upset their voices will not be heard at that hearing.

In 2 days local leaders will have a chance to make their case for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion plan to the Corp of Engineers. But there are some in the area upset their voices will not be heard at that hearing.

Scott Hendrickson – Richland County Farmer: “I was at the Richland County Commission meeting two weeks ago and I asked them to make a request to be part of this hearing tomorrow in Washington. They were denied.”

Scott Hendrickson farms on land that's been in his family for generations. It’s an idyllic setting along the Wild Rice River in Northern Richland County.

Scott Hendrickson: “I have never had water in my farm but we will have it if this project continues at the scope they want it.”

Hendrickson's property lies outside an area that would receive buyouts or mitigation with the current diversion plan. This area just south of Christine could see a foot to two feet of water in a flood with the current plan.

Dennis Walaker – Fargo Mayor: “There are people that want us to wait redesign basin wide. Come on guys, we have to have a project.”

Even though the plan will be presented in Washington this week there will be another comment period before a final proposal goes to Congress. Richland County Commission Chair Tim Campbell believes that many of the concerns of Richland County residents will be addressed at the next joint meeting.

Dennis Walaker: “I've made my promises to the people down south that we will do what we can after the chief's report to analyze what can be done.”

Though Hendrickson is somewhat skeptical of the hearing he and his neighbors will get.

Scott Hendrickson: “I mean if they address it like our last supplemental draft, I mean we can all either send emails or personal letters, is that what we get just a letter again and back the same comments.”

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