WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 12, 2012, 02:17 PM

Diversion Committees make changes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Several Diversion Committees are making changes and as they say, progress.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Several Diversion Committees are making changes and as they say, progress.

One of the first orders of business for the Mitigation Committee to change it's name. The term mitigation is used and defined differently by the Corp of engineers and didn't quite match up with what the committee does.

APRIL: “The way the committee was labeled was trying to present a consistent message to the public and so that when we are speaking about mitigation and we are calling this committee mitigation, we are using the same terminology and language that the corp is using.”

The committee decided to change it's name to the Land Management Committee, and Mayor Dennis Walaker thinks it was a good change.

DENNIS WALAKER - Mayor of Fargo: “Mitigation is such a, well you know we are going to mitigate everything, but that us not what it is all about.”

The next order of business, to incorporate new members to the committee. One of those new members is Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof. With his membership he says he'll be able to gather information from his community and bring it to the meetings.

JIM NYHOF - Oxbow Mayor: “To me it is huge. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and I can't say that I have been able to see that in the past so, it may not be a light I like to see, but it is a light and it is an answer.”

Another group that met is the Public Outreach Committee. A representative from Cass Rural Water Users attended the meeting to talk about the impact the diversion will have on the water treatment plant.

Chairman of the Public Outreach Committee Rodger Olson hopes more people will come forward, so the committee can take those concerns back to the Flood Diversion Board of Authority.

RODGER OLSON - Chairman, Public Outreach: “That is what the outreach committee is here for is to hear those concerns and hopefully answer them and make them feel comfortable with the process.”

Mayor Walaker says these all of the committees are important because they can focus on specific concerns.

WALAKER: “You know the authority doesn't have all of the answers, we are here as a political group so I think it is extremely important.”

Committees will continue to meet throughout the diversion planning and construction process. All committees report to the Flood Diversion Board of Authority.