Hoeven Meets with Nominee for OMB Director to Press the Case for Fargo-Moorhead Flood Protection

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven Tuesday met with the president’s nominee for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, Shaun Donovan, to secure his support for construction of the Fargo-Moorhead flood protection project.

As OMB Director, Donovan will have a critical say over which Corps projects advance. Hoeven met with him to make sure he is fully informed on plans for the Fargo Moorhead diversion and to press the case to start the project.

“Now that we’ve gotten the Fargo-Moorhead flood control project authorized, we are working on the Appropriations Committee to craft legislation that will allow this important project to move into the construction phase,” Hoeven said. “At this point, it is vital that we line up support from OMB to ensure the funding is in the president’s budget in future years, and Secretary Donavan, if confirmed, has agreed to work with us and the Corps.

The senator is also working in his role on the Appropriations Committee. to position Fargo favorably to receive federal funding for comprehensive flood control.

In recent years, Congress has had a no-new-starts policy, which restricted the number of new construction starts for Army Corps of Engineers Corps projects. However, the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water legislation Hoeven is working on as a member of the Appropriations Committee allows the Corps to select, on a competitive basis, five new projects to begin constructing in Fiscal Year 2015.

Additionally, Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, included language in the bill to make the Fargo-Moorhead flood protection project more competitive by ensuring that the Corps gives due weight to local efforts to ensure funding is in place to begin construction. The permanent flood protection project in Fargo-Moorhead will be funded 55 percent by state and local sources in contrast with most projects that only have a 35 percent local share. With the state and local funding in place, the Fargo-Moorhead flood protection project should be a strong candidate for the Corps’ new construction funding.

Donovan has served as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for more than five years and worked closely with Hoeven to help Minot recover from severe flooding in 2011.