FARGO — The city of Fargo has tallied the taxpayer costs involved in dealing with some of the recent marches and protests. Those expenses, when added to costs incurred by a variety of public agencies that provided assistance to Fargo, come to about $842,000.
A large demonstration May 30, known as Fargo Marches for George Floyd, lasted most of the day and ranged from Fargo to West Fargo and back again before devolving into rioting as evening approached.
Damage to downtown Fargo businesses was in the tens of thousands of dollars and included broken windows and graffiti.
Below is a breakdown of what it cost many of the agencies involved in dealing with the demonstrations on May 30, as well as a peaceful rally known as OneFargo, which took place on June 5 in Island Park. Costs associated with marches held Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, were not yet available.
City of Fargo/Fargo Police Department
Total costs for the May 30 event were about $213,739, while costs for the June 5 event were about $105,275, bringing the total for the city to about $319,014, said Gregg Schildberger, a city spokesman.
North Dakota National Guard
The total cost to the North Dakota National Guard to help with Fargo’s protests on May 30 amounted to about $87,500 and involved about 200 soldiers, according to Bill Prokopyk, a spokesman for the Guard.
The Guard’s costs associated with helping with the June 5 OneFargo event are estimated at about $52,900 and involved about 160 soldiers, Prokopyk added.
Cass County Sheriff’s Office
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office costs related to protests in the Fargo area on May 30 amounted to about $7,210 in supplies and about $32,224 for overtime salaries and staffing expenses, for a total of about $39,434, according to figures provided by Sheriff Jesse Jahner.
Jahner said because some expenses were still being tallied, the county’s total cost for helping with demonstrations could grow a bit higher.
North Dakota Highway Patrol
The North Dakota Highway Patrol estimates that its costs for helping with demonstrations in Fargo on May 30 and June 5 were about $119,113, with about $5,301 of that for lodging and about $113,812 for salaries.
Minnesota National Guard
The Minnesota National Guard sent soldiers and equipment to Moorhead in response to an executive order issued by Gov. Tim Walz providing emergency assistance to the Moorhead area in advance of the June 5 event in Fargo.
The cost of that mission, according to the Minnesota Management and Budget Department, is about $225,000.
That amount covers things like payroll, meals, billeting, vehicles, fuel and other expenses for about four days.
The Minnesota National Guard was also tasked with helping law enforcement deal with unrest in the Twin Cities area that erupted after the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police on May 25.
The bill for the Twin Cities mission topped $12 million. That event was the Minnesota Guard’s largest deployment ever for civil unrest.