Senator John Hoeven today outlined his work to increase funding for comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley. This will address the increased costs due to Route B, the changes recommended by the joint task force convened by Governors Doug Burgum and Mark Dayton. The new route and associated delays have added $600 million to the cost of the project, in addition to higher financing costs.
A new funding plan has been requested by the Diversion Authority where the State of North Dakota and the federal government will each bear $300 million of the new costs. Hoeven has been working with administration officials, including Army Corps Chief Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James, Army Corps Deputy Commanding General Scott Spellmon, Army Corps Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, to ensure the Army Corps has the authority it needs to provide the increased funding without passing additional legislation.
The Corps has verified to Hoeven that additional Congressional authorization is not required due to the authorization the senator originally secured in the 2014 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), but the public-private partnership (P3) will need to be renegotiated. Accordingly, Hoeven has secured agreement from the Corps to renegotiate its Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the local sponsor for the additional funding.
“Despite the funding requirements of the new route, the fact remains that the residents of the Fargo-Moorhead region need the certainty and security of comprehensive flood protection,” Hoeven said. “That’s why we’ve worked hard to secure continued support from the Army Corps to provide increased funding over the coming years. The steps we’ve taken will help keep this project moving forward and deliver this much-needed flood protection infrastructure for the region.”