Hoeven Arranges Meeting Between F-M Region Leaders & OMB, Presses for Inclusion of Flood Protection Project in President’s FY2020 Budget

Senator Continuing Efforts to Secure Increased Funding to Implement Plan B for Red River Valley’s Comprehensive Flood Protection

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined local leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead region, including Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling and Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd, in urging officials from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to include the Red River Valley’s flood protection project in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request. The senator arranged the meeting as part of his efforts to secure additional federal funding to implement Plan B, and it follows a call he made to OMB Deputy Director Russ Vought to advance this priority last month.

“Plan B will deliver comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley while also reducing impacts upstream and addressing the concerns of the Minnesota DNR,” said Hoeven. “While we have successfully secured funding in recent years through the Army Corps’ work plans, inclusion in the President’s budget would provide additional certainty to the project sponsors and help ensure the project receives increased federal funding. That’s been the focus of our efforts in recent months and the reason we organized today’s meeting with OMB and leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead region.”  

Hoeven is working as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee to maintain strong support for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ construction account and ensure the project is funded in the coming years. Through this role, the senator secured a $150 million increase for the Corps’ construction efforts in FY2019, which helped ensure the Corps included $35 million for construction of flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead region in its FY2019 work plan, bringing the total federal construction funding for the project to $100 million.

In addition, Hoeven included the following provisions in last year’s Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the FY2019 Energy and Water funding bill:

  • Resolving easement issue to enable Plan B, the changes recommended by the joint task force convened by Governors Doug Burgum and Mark Dayton.
  • Funding to implement the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program. This aligns with Hoeven’s legislation to extend WIFIA.
  • Ensuring fair treatment of P3 projects and others that use alternative financing methods during the Corps’ cost-benefit analysis, including flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead region.