F-M Diversion Collaboration Should Have Taken Place Years Ago

The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion debate has been ongoing for at least six years. Six years of heated back and forth, and we’re just now getting together? Six years of demonizing neighbors of differing interests, and now people are trying to get together and act in good faith? Six years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, and now we’re high-fiving because behind a closed door the Governors of North Dakota and Minnesota said we need to get everyone on the same page? It’s about time.

Don’t get me wrong, what happened yesterday at the Moorhead City Hall was a great development. To me, there is a bit of symbolism in the fact this meeting was held on the Minnesota side of the Red River. But, it is step in the right direction. We have to ask what took so long? The collaboration displayed yesterday ended up being step thirty when it should have been step one.

What prevented this collaboration from happening early on in the process? Was it the urgency brought on by a wet cycle that threatened the city? The public was tiring of sandbagging every other year and there was no guarantee the next time would hold. Was it arrogance? Did officials and authorities just feel as though they could move forward and force it on to their neighbor without repercussion?

I’ve voted to appropriate the money necessary for flood protection. I’ve done it on the ballot and in the Legislature. We need it. However, supporting the appropriation of dollars towards protection doesn’t mean unbridled support for the administration of it. The fact the meeting that took place yesterday is roughly six years late is a failure of past administration.

Tyler Axness