FM Diversion – Fargo Moorhead Area Diversion Project

Special Assessment District Information

The Cass County Joint Water Resource District (“CCJWRD”) proceeded with the creation of the FM FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1 (District) to finance a portion of North Dakota’s local share of the FM Area Diversion Project. Following a successful vote to create the District in April of 2015, CCJWRD followed the process well-defined in state law and held an Assessment Hearing in June of 2017 to afford affected landowners the opportunity to submit any comments or objections they had regarding the methodology used to apportion benefits and create the assessment list that was the subject of the assessment vote.  CCJWRD considered all comments and objections submitted, made some modifications to the assessment list, and ultimately approved a final assessment list to conclude the assessment district process.  Below are links to the final Technical Memorandum documenting the consideration of public comments and the subsequent changes to the assessment methodology, along with links for the Final Assessment List and final Benefit Region map.

Pre-2018 Special Assessment District Information

Sales Tax to pay for the Project

As you know, voters in Fargo and Cass County previously voted in favor of separate sales taxes to fund the Project. However, the pace of sales tax collection will not match the pace of the costs of the project development and construction. With that in mind, the local project sponsors will have to borrow funds to keep pace with Project development, and repay the debt with sales tax proceeds. With that in mind, the local project sponsors determined creation of the FM FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1 assessment district will provide an effective financing tool for the Project, with more favorable borrowing terms (lower interest rates and lower coverage requirements) than alternative financing options. The local project sponsors anticipate sales tax proceeds will provide adequate revenue to repay the financing debt and annual payments on the assessment district.

In other words, CCJWRD does not intend to levy actual assessments against the properties within the FM FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1 assessment district as long as sales tax revenues are sufficient.

The Cass County Joint Water Resource District had an Assessment Hearing regarding FM Flood Risk Management District No. 1 Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., at the FargoDome, 1800 North University Drive, Fargo, North Dakota.

Watch the Assessment District Hearing from Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Description of the Project

The Project will reduce flood risk through construction of a 36-mile, 20,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) diversion channel that will start approximately three miles south of the confluence of the Red River and the Wild Rice River and extend west and north around the metropolitan area before re-entering the Red River east of Argusville. The Project will provide flood risk reduction from the Red River and its North Dakota tributaries, including the Wild Rice, Sheyenne, Maple, Rush, and Lower Rush Rivers. The Project will include an embankment and tie-back levees that will temporarily stage flood waters upstream of the metropolitan area to ensure no downstream impacts. The Project features will include gated control structures on the Red River, Wild Rice River, and the inlet to the Diversion Channel. The Project will also include aqueduct structures on the Sheyenne and Maple Rivers as they cross the Diversion Channel. In addition to the Diversion Channel and associated structures, the Diversion Project will include levees along the Red River through Fargo. The In-Town Levees will enable flood waters to safely pass through the Red River, as well as the Diversion Channel, which will help reduce Project impacts and will provide more robust flood risk reduction.

Construction of the Project

Construction will involve excavation of approximately 50 million cubic yards of earth to form the Diversion Channel. Construction will also involve six interstate highway bridges, twelve county and township road bridges, four railroad bridges, three gated control structures, two aqueduct structures, a rock-ramp outlet structure, and other structures. Development and construction of the Project will also include purchasing of the requisite permanent and temporary right of way to construct, own, operate, and maintain the Project; relocating utilities; and other items as necessary to construct, own, operate, and maintain the Project.

If you have additional questions that cannot be answered by the information here, please call the CCJWRD office at (701) 298-2381.

Previous Assessment Packets and Information