Hoeven & Klobuchar Urge OMB Director to Include Red River Valley Flood Protection in President's FY2022 Budget
WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) this week urged Shalanda Young, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to include permanent flood protection for the Red River Valley in the president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget request. Inclusion in the budget would provide certainty to the project developers, as well as help ensure continued federal funding to keep the project on schedule and fulfill the Army Corps’ funding commitment to the project. The project has received $310 million in federal construction funding to date.
The letter follows a recent roundtable that Hoeven and Klobuchar held with state, local and Army Corps officials in Fargo to discuss efforts to move the project‘s construction forward, including the I-29 grade increase and the initial excavation of the Red River Structure site. Hoeven also made this request directly to President Biden during a bipartisan infrastructure meeting last month.
“A major flood would inundate nearly all of Fargo, much of Moorhead and several other smaller communities. Without permanent, comprehensive flood protection, the region has to erect several miles of costly and temporary protective measures,” said the senators. “Including this project in the detailed budget request for FY22 would send a strong signal of support for this multi-state project and move us closer to permanent flood protection for more than 200,000 people, 70 square miles of infrastructure and flood risk reduction from other area river systems.”
The full text of Hoeven and Klobuchar’s letter can be found below:
Dear Acting Director Young:
We request that you include funding for construction of the flood risk management project for Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota in your Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget Request. This project uses a public-private partnership (P3) to provide an innovative, alternative approach to financing that represents a cost-effective solution to addressing America’s critical water infrastructure needs.
The Red River of the North, which flows through Fargo and Moorhead, has exceeded flood stage in 55 of the past 118 years (1902 through 2019), with seven of the top 10 floods occurring in the last 30 years. A major flood would inundate nearly all of Fargo, much of Moorhead and several other smaller communities. Without permanent, comprehensive flood protection, the region has to erect several miles of costly and temporary protective measures.
Congress authorized the Fargo-Moorhead project in Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The total cost of the project is currently estimated at $2.2 billion, and under the amended Project Partnership Agreement, the federal share of project costs is capped at $750 million. To date, the federal government has provided $313 million in construction funding.
FY22 is an important year for the project. The key feature of the federal section of the project is a control structure that would divert the flow of water from the main river channel to a diversion channel. Funding in FY22 will allow the Corps of Engineers to finalize a contract to complete construction of this structure. The full capacity for the Fargo-Moorhead project is $180 million for FY22, which ensures construction of the control structure and keeps the project on schedule. With this funding, well over half of the federal commitment to the project would be complete.
Including this project in the detailed budget request for FY22 would send a strong signal of support for this multi-state project and moves us closer to permanent flood protection for more than 200,000 people, 70 square miles of infrastructure and flood risk reduction from other area river systems. We urge you to include Fargo-Moorhead in the budget request and look forward to working with you to complete the federal commitment to this project in FY22 and beyond.
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