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Mayor's Musings: Diversion totally operational, receiving minor overhaul

Many people have asked me how work is progressing on the West Fargo diversion. If you drive by the diversion on Sheyenne Street, it looks like a big mess.

However, Kevin Bucholz with Moore Engineering says the diversion, if needed today, is fully functional. The diversion was designed to run for a few days once or twice a year. As we all know, the diversion has flowed for long periods during the past few years.

During that time, the bottom of the diversion has been scoured and a great deal of silt has built up. The silt is being excavated and the bottom of the diversion is being filled with rocks to avoid future scouring.

People also continue to ask about moving the proposed Red River diversion to the north by a mile or so. As you may have heard, the path of the diversion will be altered on the northern edge from the original plan. As the Corps continues through the design phase, the city will continue to push to have the diversion moved to the north of our current system.

Commissioner Mike Thorstad is a member of the Diversion Authority Board. I know he is working hard to get the design changed through the board. I know other members of the commission also are doing what they can to have changes made. The Corps of Engineers is a strange animal, so it is difficult to tell if we will be successful in our efforts.

Better safe than sorry

If you have a carbon monoxide detector that is old, you may want to replace it. Our company had just left the Friday evening after Thanksgiving when we heard a chirping noise from somewhere. My first thought was that the battery on one of the smoke detectors was going bad. That wasn't the case.

We finally tracked it to our carbon monoxide detector. The question then became one of do we believe we have a problem or is it a malfunction. It was 11:15 p.m., so I wasn't real anxious to call anyone. However, after giving it more thought, we decided it was best to make the call.

I called 911 and told the dispatcher of our problem, but that we didn't think it was necessary to bring the whole fire department to our home. It didn't take long before the doorbell rang. Roy Schatschneider, West Fargo fire chief, was at the door.

Roy quickly did a check of the house with his monitor and found no evidence of a problem. He then asked to look at the monitor. He played with it and it fell apart. I have to say I was embarrassed by the whole episode, especially when the detector fell apart. I'm not sure how old it was. I'm guessing eight to 10 years. A check on the Internet told me that carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced at least every five years. I'll certainly remember that from now on.

Roy was very kind and said it is always better to be safe than sorry. I still felt bad for him because I know he has much better things to do on a Friday night.

Lesson learned at the Mattern household.

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