Majority Leader Al Carlson Agrees To Amendments To Controversial Flood Diversion Bill

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The issue of flood diversion for the City of Fargo is hugely controversial. The citizens of Fargo want to divert flood waters to other people’s property so that they’re not stuck with the risk of a hugely disruptive and expensive flood fight every year. Citizens outside Fargo don’t want the flood waters sent to their property and communities.

House Majority Leader Al Carlson poured some fuel on those fires by making amendments to an appropriation bill that would have denied state funds for the diversion project. Carlson’s argument – and it was the proper one – is that the state shouldn’t be putting money into a project that will ultimately cost billions without the federal government having confirmed what they’ll pay.

Local officials in Fargo have accused Rep. Carlson of trying to kill off flood control, and after a meeting between the two sides Carlson is saying he’ll make some amendments to the bill.

Carlson told Scott Hennen Show guest host Pat Finken that he’d change his amendments so that they don’t restrict the use of local funds for the flood diversion project, and to still allow state matches for home buyouts, but he’s still not willing to allow state funds to be used.

“I just want people to know what this is going to cost them,” Rep. Carlson said. Noting that many citizens outside of Fargo are very much opposed to the diversion, he also said “the state has a responsibility to hear them out.”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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