Dam near Kathryn to be repairedThe Red River Joint Water Resource Board approved Thursday spending up to $500,000 to help repair Clausen Springs Dam, which was threatened by the flooding Sheyenne River this past spring, forcing the evacuation of the community of Kathryn, N.D.
By: By Kevin Bonham, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK, N.D. — The Red River Joint Water Resource Board approved Thursday spending up to $500,000 to help repair Clausen Springs Dam, which was threatened by the flooding Sheyenne River this past spring, forcing the evacuation of the community of Kathryn, N.D.
The contribution is part of an estimated $3 million project to fix the dam, which may include a side channel spillway. The dam was built in the late 1960s on a tributary of the Shey-enne in Barnes County.
The flooding in April caused extreme erosion just downstream from the dam. The North Dakota National Guard used a Blackhawk helicopter to drop 16, 1-ton sandbags below the dam, to keep it from breaching.
Kathryn is a town of 55, located 17 miles south of Valley City.
“I live downstream from there,” said Joint Board Chairman Jim Lyons of Lisbon, N.D. “All we’re doing is putting this back to where it was. It’s not an improvement project.”
The Red River Joint Water Resource Board is made up of representatives from water resource boards in Barnes, Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Traill and Walsh counties, plus three water districts in Cass County — Maple River, North Cass, Rush River and Southeast Cass.
The North Dakota State Water Commission will decide today whether to contribute up to $1.3 toward the project. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department also plans to provide $1 million.
Several state water organizations are meeting this week at a State Water Convention in Bismarck.
In other business, the joint board:
*Discussed the proposed Fargo-Moorhead diversion project. The city of West Fargo and water boards in Cass County have endorsed a diversion on the North Dakota side of the Red River that would have a water capacity of 35,000 cubic feet per second.
Other potential diversions are a 30,000-cubic-foot project in North Dakota or a 35,000-cubic-foot project in Minnesota.
Several informational meetings about the proposed diversion have been held throughout the region. More meetings are planned in the next several weeks, according to Tom Fischer, chairman of the Cass County Joint Water Resource District.
A common topic at meetings so far has been the potential effects of a diversion on downstream farms and communities, he said.
“People aren’t coming to the meetings angry. They’re coming with good questions,” he said.
Kevin Bonham is a reporter at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.