Gov. Doug Burgum today released the following statement after signing Senate Bill 2020, the appropriations bill for the State Water Commission.
“This bill represents a strong commitment by the State of North Dakota to make major investments in water supply and flood control projects, including $82.5 million for Mouse River flood control in the Minot area and $66.5 million for Fargo-area flood control including the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project,” Burgum said. “Citizens across North Dakota will benefit from these investments through clean, reliable drinking water supplies and the protection of lives, property and livelihoods from catastrophic flooding.”
“Still, a gross disparity exists in how this legislation treats different flood control projects with regard to intent language for future funding,” Burgum added. “The $750 million in intent language included in the final bill for the F-M diversion is $120 million less than what was requested and represents only a 27 percent state cost-share – less than half the cost-share provided for other recently approved flood control projects. That’s despite the fact the diversion will protect more than 170,000 North Dakotans, over $20 billion in property value and an economy that generates nearly one-fifth of our state’s sales tax collections.”
“Moving forward, we will continue to make the case for long-term funding and work collaboratively with the Legislature to ensure the residents of our state’s largest metro area aren’t burdened with major property tax increases to receive the same level of flood protection that other North Dakota communities enjoy,” Burgum said. “In the meantime, the considerable efforts made to this point will enable the start of diversion construction and continuation of work to improve in-town protection.”