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Published February 22, 2012, 07:00 PM

County Commissioners join forces to fight the diversion

Hickson, ND (WDAY TV) - Commissioners from Wilkin County, Minnesota and Richland County, North Dakota are joining forces to fight the proposed Red River Diversion. Commissioners say while flood protection is necessary, they're not happy with the plan in place.

Commissioners from Wilkin County, Minnesota and Richland County, North Dakota are joining forces to fight the proposed Red River Diversion. Commissioners say while flood protection is necessary, they're not happy with the plan in place.

Part of the Proposed Red River Diversion project would include a staging area two miles north of Hickson to hold back water. Commissioners in Richland and Wilkin Counties say the impacts of this staging area would be devastating.

Perry Miller – Richland County Commissioner: "Tender that land unusable other than for agriculture because people are not going to want to build in an area that is being used as a holding area for water."

Around 70 buildings could be affected by the staging area. Two commissioners from each county will organize and oversee a formal Diversion protest. Richland County Commissioner Perry Miller says the counties are even pledging public funds.

Perry Miller: "Not just legal action, but for lobbying; if we wanted to hire an engineer, if we wanted to hire someone for advertising."

Miller says Wilkin has promised $125,000. Richland will pledge public funds soon. There is no word on how much. The Diversion Authority says it's optimistic it will find a solution for the affected communities.

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