FARGO, N.D. — Officials say a lawsuit that has held up construction of a Red River diversion project in the Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota area could be settled out of court.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority plans to meet next week with the Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, a group of upstream residents who have argued that the project will lead to more flooding on their land.

Mahoney told KFGO radio that the diversion board voted in executive session to offer a settlement. Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority board member Nathan Berseth said he believes the diversion authority will make some type of financial offer to address the concerns of his group and landowners in the southern valley.

"Well I'm very encouraged that they want to sit down and talk, so we're happy to do that and we'll work vigorously and see if we can make some progress and hopeful, hopeful that we can come to a solution," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said that if a deal is reached, lawsuits filed by the upstream group and the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District would be dropped and construction could move ahead without further delays.