Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published May 21, 2014, 09:36 AM

US House OKs F-M diversion, Senate vote expected Thursday

The Water Resources Reform Development Act, a package of water infrastructure projects including the proposed $1.8 billion flood channel around the Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., passed on a 412- 5 vote, with both area representatives — Minnesota Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson and North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer — voting in favor.

By: Keith Norman, Forum News Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Tuesday gave its final approval to the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion.

The Water Resources Reform Development Act, a package of water infrastructure projects including the proposed $1.8 billion flood channel around the metro, passed on a 412- 5 vote, with both area representatives — Minnesota Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson and North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer — voting in favor.

“I am pleased with the outcome of the bill and the bipartisan, bicameral effort which went into the final agreement,” Cramer said. “It acknowledges the critical nature of flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and rejects an unprecedented and unjustified fee for usage of reservoir water from the Missouri River.”

Tuesday’s vote came more than a year after the Senate passed its original version of the bill. Last week, conference committee negotiators announced they had ironed out the differences between the House and Senate bills.

The bill still needs the Senate’s approval and the president’s signature for authorization. The Senate is expected to take up the compromise bill Thursday, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a news release.

Congressional authorization does not guarantee any federal dollars for the project but merely a spot in line to seek federal funding. The project is asking the federal government to cover more than $800 million of construction costs.

State money from North Dakota and Minnesota and local sales taxes is expected to cover the rest of the project’s cost.

Tags: