Worth Every Penny

Written by: Rod Wilson

I am a member of the Military Affairs Committee of the Minot Chamber of Commerce/EDC. We have a meeting once a month with both military and community leaders in attendance. We normally do lunch, have an informative speaker or entertainment, and then receive reports from the 5th Bomb Wing, 91st Missile Wing, and the Army National guard and Air Guard units.

Our February meeting was dedicated to the Economic Impact of Minot Air Force Base. The Minot Air Force Base impacts Minot in a lot of different ways. There is the direct salary paid to Minot Air Force Base including active duty, dependents, and civilian military employees. That amount was nearly $416 million dollars in 2022.

Another figure that affects local communities is the over 2,000 indirect jobs created by Minot Air Force Base, which adds another $108 million dollars to the economy of the region.

Then there is the total economic impact figure, which this year was nearly $595 million dollars. Impressive, and so important to Minot and the many other communities in the area.

On the way out the door after meeting several members of the committee were talking about the Minot AFB, and how taxpayers can be sure that they have made a good investment in the base. I totally agree that what we spend to keep Minot Air Force Base alive and well is worth every penny. How do you measure the value of national security. Probably not in dollars and cents. The young men and women who are stationed at Minot AFB are world class. They are on duty 24/7, in all weather conditions, and their shifts often are “as long as it takes to get the job done”.

And what about the volunteer hours that the Minot AFB contributes to our community? Thousands of hours every year given to non-profit organizations. We have a resource in Minot AFB that most other communities do not have.
Yeah, worth every penny invested, and more. $595 million dollars more.

Best Kept Secrets
Bottineau Winter Park will host another Military Appreciation Day on Friday, February 17th. Even though the weather in Minot may be above freezing, the Turtle Mountains are a bit cooler, and they often receive snow when Minot does not. Very family friendly, and on Military Appreciation Day, very affordable.

The Downtown Rink That Could
OK, so I have talked about this rink before. But there is nothing quite like skating outdoors on a quality ice surface. Yeah, it’s nice to be warm, too. But grab your skates on head to the rink just behind Prairie Sky Breads.

Opinion Column
So, when a balloon from China floats over the U.S., it would seem that if I took an opinion poll at the local post office, most would say “shoot it down”. Yeah, I get it that we don’t want it to crash into populated areas and cause injury or damage, but how did it get here? Will certainly be interesting to hear from our government what “really” happened.

Today’s Chuckle
A Norwegian answers the phone at 3 AM. He responds, oh no, you’ve got the wrong number, so the caller apologizes. Dats OK says the Norwegian, I had to get up to answer the phone anyway.

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