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Flood Task Force Amps Up Efforts to Ensure State Funding for Permanent Flood Protection

Fargo Moorhead, ND/MN (April 19, 2013) – The Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection task force, coordinated by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber, has amped up efforts to ensure state funding is available for the Fargo Moorhead area diversion project and that permanent flood protection continues to be on the minds of legislators in Bismarck.

The task force, a joint effort by The Chamber and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, with coordination from the Home Builders Association of Fargo Moorhead and the F-M Area Association of Realtors, met today with over 25 members present.

“To embed micromanagement into legislation displays a lack of trust, both in the work that has already been done, and in the work of the Diversion Authority,” said task force chairman Tom Dawson. “The Diversion is the only true answer to our flood protection efforts. It is the most studied and affects the least amount of people. We plan to continue to carry this message to Bismarck in the coming weeks.”

The group has been continually present as the conversation surrounding HB 1020 has unfolded. The task force traveled to Bismarck on Thursday, April 11 to lobby the Senate Appropriations Committee and returned again on Tuesday, April 16 to reach out to the full Senate about the need for permanent protection for our area. The group also has plans to return to Bismarck in the next few weeks as the North Dakota legislative session comes to a close.

Ahead of the Senate Appropriations Committee meetings, the group launched a statewide advertising campaign and garnered over 200 signatures from the business community in less than 24 hours.

“The flood has taken its toll on our communities long enough,” said Whitney. “Now is the time to move above political posturing and wipe spring flooding from the list of headlines about our metro area.” 

At home, The Chamber is also working hard to protect our area locally from the impending spring flood. The Chamber is once again asking members allow their employees to volunteer to sandbag during the hours of 2 and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday at Sandbag Central in the 2400 block of Eighth Avenue North in Fargo. The City of Fargo is hoping to complete 500,000 additional sandbags in the wake of recent snowfall.

“Flooding is a regional issue that affects all of us,” said Whitney. “When a flood hits, it affects every facet, from commerce to education to our safety and wellbeing. We must not continue to let this be Fargo Moorhead West Fargo’s story.”

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of over 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 94,000 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.

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