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Published June 26, 2013, 09:40 PM

Moorhead questions sponsorship with diversion project

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Moorhead City Council members say it's time to re-evaluate their sponsorship of the diversion.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Moorhead City Council members say it's time to re-evaluate their sponsorship of the diversion.

Fargo and Moorhead were asked to approve an extra 30-million dollars for design-related costs.

With federal authorization still pending, they aren't sure it's a good idea to continue committing money to the project.

Another year gone by without federal authorization for the Fargo-Moorhead diversion has Moorhead city council members questioning the city's sponsorship of the project.

A resolution on the table this week asked Fargo and Moorhead to approve 30-million additional dollars for pre-construction.

Moorhead would be responsible for about three million dollars.

Hintermeyer: "From our standpoint, we simply, in do not have the money."

The state of Minnesota has not promised any funding to the 1.8 billion dollar project.

In contrast, the North Dakota legislature has promised 450-million dollars and the state has a half-cent flood sales tax.

Diversion Authority Chair Darrell Vanyo says the North Dakota side has been footing the bill while waiting for funding from the Minnesota side to come through…

But if Moorhead pulled out, it could affect the project.

Vanyo: "It could have significant impact at the federal level, because if locally, they're pulling out, that doesn't send a good message to their congressional delegation."

Hintermeyer says Moorhead still supports the creation of a diversion - many of their residents work in Fargo.

But right now, they are closely examining their options.

Hintermeyer: "We thought we might be breaking ground at this point in time where it would be authorized and funded. Since hasn't happened, we have to re-assess how it is we negotiate with the understanding that Moorhead simply does not have the dollars."

Earlier this week, Fargo approved the resolution without discussion. In Moorhead, the resolution is tabled for now.

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