The city council meets today at 4:15 p.m. to discuss choosing a flood protection plan for the city. Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman is urging the council to select a phased-in plan that would allow the process to move forward. We encourage the council to agree.
The plan Zimbelman is asking the council to approve is a plan of many phases. It would use the same basic footprint as the 27,400 cubic feet per second plan, but protect the city to a level of between 10,000 cfs and 15,000 cfs. Permanent structures like flood walls and closures would be designed to the higher level, since they cannot be changed quickly if necessary. The mayor is also recommending engineers be authorized to begin design work.
Is the mayor saying that by choosing a flood control plan that everything is settled, that the plan chosen will be the ultimate final design? Absolutely not. There will no doubt be changes to the project as it progresses. But what the mayor is saying is that a plan, any plan, must be chosen before the process can continue.
The mayor also pointed out that while the project begins, water management issues can be discussed between the United State and Canada, and potential changes to Lake Darling Dam can be addressed. In addition, since the project's footprint would be virtually the same no matter what the project eventually looks like, the process of acquiring homes can begin more quickly.
We expect the city council to follow Zimbelman's recommendation today and approve a phased-in flood control project so the lengthy process can continue.