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What’s Weather Mod cost me?

Ben James, Kenmare

Roger Neshem’s comments in the Minot Daily News, April 17 inspired me to investigate what the Weather Modification Program costs me. Thanks to some very helpful people working at the Ward County Auditor’s office and their website, I was able to discover the following.

For 2019 we taxpayers were charged $73,445, an exceptionally low number due to the County Commission deliberately underfunding the program, for reasons best explained by them.

That number was broken down for me, to show that my cost was at most 28 cents per quarter section of land (160 acres) for 2019. I then averaged the cost of the program from 2006 to 2020 to find $138,485.60 per year, coming up with 53 cents per quarter. I don’t think that I have ever had an input that cheap. I also looked at a house in Minot with a market value of $590,000 and found that the 15 year average cost was $2.51 per year.

Some may think that this is just an agriculture issue, but if you have a roof over your head or have a vehicle, this affects you also. I seem to remember that someone had compared the cost of house insurance between Minot and Bismarck, where the Weather Mod program is absent, concluding that Minot is considerably cheaper, hopefully that information will surface again.

I also found that over the last 15 years we paid $2,077,284 in total, conflicting with Mr. Neshem’s claim that the program will cost “almost $2 million of taxpayer money over the next five years.” I’m also curious about where he found the information about the Ward County hail loss back to 1916.

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