Fargo Moorhead, ND/MN (April 11, 2013) – Today, the Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection taskforce traveled to the North Dakota state capitol to urge members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support the Fargo Moorhead Area Diversion.
In 24 hours, the group collected nearly 200 signatures of business professionals in support of the diversion. They will bring letters supporting the need for permanent flood protection as well these signatures to Bismarck, where the Senate Appropriations Committee is meeting to discuss HB 1020. The signatures will also appear in ads across the state this weekend.
“The Army Corps of Engineers, along with elected officials and staff, have provided their expertise and recommendations,” said Chamber President/CEO Craig Whitney. “Now is time to rise above political posturing and lend the reputable voice of business in support of the solution to this dangerous situation.”
The group’s top priority during today’s trip is to ensure state funding is available for the diversion project. The group met early this morning with Governor Jack Dalrymple to discuss the project. The Governor stressed that he is not concerned about the lack of specific federal support for the diversion project in President Obama’s budget, which was released yesterday.
Whitney believes the lack of specific federal funding for the FM diversion project is directly linked to the need for state support for the project. “We need to take the President’s budget proposal as a call to arms that local funding is inextricably linked to federal support of the project,” Whitney said. “The Chamber will continue to work with our North Dakota and Minnesota delegations in Washington, who remain ever committed to the project, to ensure flood protection becomes a reality for our region.”
The taskforce, a joint effort between the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Committee, is dedicated to ensuring the importance of comprehensive flood risk reduction stays on the forefront of the regions’ priorities. The taskforce is comprised of over 30 business professionals from a variety of sectors in the business community and chaired by Tom Dawson of Dawson Insurance.
“This is a regional issue that is unquestionably the most serious matter we face today, said Dawson. “This group is a much needed voice to the business community regarding permanent flood protection for the area. There is no disagreement that if we fail to prepare our community for future events, devastation will surely be at our doorstep.”
About The Chamber
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of over 2,000 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 80,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.