Drayton gets 6-month extension for dike removal deadline
DRAYTON--A federal administrator said Drayton will have more time to remove dikes from land his agency owns in town, and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is working on legislation to keep them there permanently.
DRAYTON-A federal administrator said Drayton will have more time to remove dikes from land his agency owns in town, and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is working on legislation to keep them there permanently.
Hoeven's office announced Thursday that Roy Wright, a deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, gave his verbal approval to extend the deadline to take down the earthen dikes that sit on 16 parcels of land FEMA purchased after the 1997 flood. The city worked out an agreement with FEMA through the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services to remove the dikes by Oct. 12, but the extension would move that deadline to April 12, 2017.
Hoeven also drafted legislation that would allow the levees to stay on the property and other cities, including Fargo, as long as the "construction constitutes part of a flood control project, is constructed of naturally occurring materials and conforms to other criteria as established by FEMA policy." The legislation should reach the Senate floor next week, and Hoeven expects it to be approved as a law by the end of the year.
It's great news for residents in Drayton, KodaBank President Peter Anderson said.
"From the city of Drayton's standpoint, I don't think we could be more thankful," Anderson said. "I think everyone is pleased even with the six-month extension because it'll give us more time to put something together."
The levees, some of which were there before FEMA purchased land in Drayton as part of a buyout program, have protected the city from flood waters at least five times, city officials said.
But it wasn't until 2014 that the city discovered the dikes needed to be removed because they were not compliant with FEMA regulations stating permanent structures are not allowed on the agency's property. Dikes are considered structures by FEMA.
A formal request for the extension will have to be submitted by the city.