Souris River Joint Board to push state lawmakers to fund flood protection plans

BISMARCK, N.D. - Those at the front of flood protection for the Souris River Basin will push state lawmakers Tuesday to fund key parts of a long-term flood protection plan.

The Souris River Joint Board will speak to lawmakers, though based on projections from the last administration, they face an uphill battle.

Ryan Ackerman with the Board briefed the Minot City Council tonight on his plans for addressing the legislature.

As it stands, the state and the city split the cost-share for flood protection 65-35.

The Board plans to ask the state to cover $127 million of a $191 million plan to cover 13 different aspects of property buyouts, construction, and design.

However, the Dalrymple administration allocated only $70 million, and a strong push to tighten belts for the next biennium may bring that number even lower.

If that's the case, the Board will have to pare down its plan and focus on limited property buyouts and only three floodwall or levee projects.

“We're laying this out to the legislature so that they are aware of the approach to basically what we're calling the 'lowest-hanging fruit' in this overall program, to pull as many people out of harm's way, as quickly as we can,” Ackerman told the council.

The Minot City Council adopted a resolution asking the state to fund the $127 million mark.

The board will meet with the Education and Environment Division of the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday morning at 8:30 in the Roughrider Room at the State Capitol.