Hoeven Outlines His Recently-Passed Measures to Resolve Easement Issues, Support P3s & Provide Flexible Funding for Construction of Fargo-Moorhead Region Flood Protection Project
FARGO, N.D. – In a meeting with MG Scott Spellmon, Deputy Commanding General for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead region today, Senator John Hoeven outlined provisions he secured in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water funding bill to help resolve the easement issue and provide funding to move forward construction of comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley. Both the WRDA and Energy and Water funding bill were recently approved by Congress and sent to the president to be signed into law.
WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT
- Resolves easement issue to Enable Route B: Hoeven included his provision to resolve easements on land purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding. The senator’s provision grants the authority needed to implement Route B, the changes recommended by the joint task force convened by Governors Doug Burgum and Mark Dayton. Accordingly, Hoeven urged MG Spellmon to help ensure funding is included for the project’s construction in the Corps’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 work plan.
FISCAL YEAR 2019 ENERGY AND WATER FUNDING BILL
As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured the following priorities in the bill:
- Increases the Corps’ construction account by $150 million to ensure priorities like flood protection in the Red River Valley continue to receive funding.
- Implements the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program to provide states and local governments with low-cost, flexible funding sources when building water infrastructure.
- The legislation directs the Corps to complete a detailed plan for implementing WIFIA and provides up to $6 million to support WIFIA program implementation. This aligns with Hoeven’s legislation to extend the WIFIA program.
- Ensures fair treatment of public-private partnership (P3) projects and others that use alternative financing methods during the Corps’ cost-benefit analysis, including flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead region.
- The bill requires the Corps to develop a policy on how it will evaluate P3s and incorporate them into its budget.
- Hoeven also helped advance a provision in the Senate-passed Financial Services and General Government funding bill ensuring the Corps can fund P3s.
“We’ve worked hard to clear the way for the construction of Fargo-Moorhead’s comprehensive flood protection,” Hoeven said. “Our provision in WRDA resolves the easements that would’ve prevented the project from being realigned. That’s a big win for the region. Now, we are going to continue our efforts to secure funding, through the Corps and programs like WIFIA. The funding bill we passed earlier this year advances these priorities by increasing the Corps’ construction account and provides funding to implement the Corps’ WIFIA program. Coupled with our measures in support of P3 projects, this project is well-positioned to receive funding in next year’s work plan. That is exactly what we are urging MG Spellmon and other Corps officials to do, and we appreciate him taking the time to visit the region and learn more about this critical effort.”
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