Hoeven Presses Army Corps Chief to Support Minot Flood Project
Senator Working to Advance Flood Protection for the Minot Region
FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today met with Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to impress on him the importance of comprehensive flood control for Minot and Ward County. The senator said it is vital that the general understand the importance of flood protection projects for the region and how they work.
The senator asked Bostick to support the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan (MREFPP) and recommend it as a new start so that it will become eligible for Corps funding to aid the city in the development of the comprehensive multi-phase flood protection project. Minot and the Souris River Joint Board have begun designing the first three phases of the project, which involves flood control on Railway Ave, Napa Valley and Forrest Road. Design for these phases is estimated to be completed by 2017 with construction set to begin in the spring of that year. Another phase, the Maple Diversion, has not yet entered the design stage, but the city estimates construction could be completed by 2020.
“The first three phases of Minot’s comprehensive flood protection plan combined with the Maple Diversion represent flood protection for 60 percent of the area’s residents, and it is feasible to accomplish over the next five years, but we need the Corps’ active support and help,” Hoeven said. “An investment in flood protection would be cost-effective over the long term and mean lower flood insurance rates and greater peace of mind for families and businesses in the basin. We will continue to work with Lt. Gen. Bostick and his staff to help this project proceed.”
Hoeven is working through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee to support Minot’s flood protection efforts. The senator is working to secure permission for the Corps to fund studies for permanent flood protection in the committee’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Energy and Water funding bill, which is a vital for communities like Minot and the Souris River Valley to develop and build comprehensive flood protection. Hoeven said he’s also working to make sure that all of the work Minot is doing is credited to both the project’s cost share and cost-benefit ratio.
Today’s meeting follows an exchange between Hoeven and Lt. Gen. Bostick during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in February, where the senator urged him to do all he can to advance flood protection for Minot. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Hoeven has pushed Lt. Gen. Bostick and other Army Corps officials, including Commander for the Mississippi Valley Division Maj. Gen. Michael C. Wehr and Commander of the St. Paul District Col. Daniel Koprowski, to support flood protection projects across North Dakota. To this end, Hoeven met with Bostick in 2011, just prior to his confirmation as Commanding General by the Senate.
Senator Hoeven has worked since the flood of 2011 to help Minot rebuild and better protect itself from flooding. To date, Minot and Ward County have received more than $650 million in grants, loans and direct assistance.
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