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Diversion Authority chairman 'surprised' by Dayton letter


FARGO (KFGO-AM) - Darrell Vanyo, Chairman of the F-M Diversion Authority says he was surprised by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's request to temporarily halt work on the Red River Diversion project.

He says the issue was never raised during a meeting in St. Paul last week with the Department of Natural Resources.

Dayton's letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Corps of Engineers, said he wants the Corps to stop endorsing federal funding, issuing federal permits or providing construction assistance until Minnesota has completed an environmental review. Dayton's letter is in response to construction of a ring dike around 3 communities south of Fargo that started earlier this summer. Vanyo says work on the ring levee will continue as scheduled.

Richland County Commissioner Perry Miller says he's not surprised by Dayton's letter. He says the ring dike will have an impact on the Minnesota side. He says the Diversion Authority should have waited until the study was completed. Miller is a member of the Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority that has filed a federal lawsuit to block construction of a part of the Diversion that would store water over more than 32,000 acres south of Fargo.