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Oxbow mayor says ring dike plan driving home sales

  • Associated Press
  • October 11, 2013 - 12:50 PM

FARGO, N.D. — The mayor of an eastern North Dakota town located in the path of a proposed Red River diversion channel says real estate is showing some signs of life because of plans for a ring levee.

Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof tells The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/19uaEUO ) that three homes have sold since the Red River Diversion Authority approved the levee, which would protect the houses, in May. He says a fourth home is about to close.

Nyhof says no homes sold in the community of about 300 people from 2009 to 2012, after Fargo and Moorhead, Minn., leaders unveiled the diversion plan.

"We couldn't even get an appraisal on a house," he said, adding that Oxbow had about seven home sales a year before the project was put on the table.

The proposed $2 billion diversion would move water around Fargo and Moorhead, but a holding area that would be needed in times of serious flooding has put Oxbow and other residents south of the metro area in jeopardy.

The first step in a three-year process of building the ring levee is to buy out 42 homeowners along the Red River. The southernmost section of the ring levee will be constructed next summer, said Bruce Spiller, project manager for CH2M Hill, the diversion's project management firm.

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