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Michael Montplaisir, Fargo, Published October 24 2013

Letter: Buyout program aims to be fair

In the article regarding Cass County’s buyout program published on Oct. 22 (“Declining FEMA buyout will draw higher flood insurance rate”), one of the parties who declined an offer by the county said they “declined the offer because it was unfair” and “What they offered us wasn’t even close to what we wanted.”

In the buyout program, the county contracts with independent appraisers to establish the value of the property. In most cases, as with this property owner, two independent appraisals were completed. The two appraisals were for $260,000 and $245,000; these ap-praisals were then averaged for an offer of $252,500 for a property that is valued on the tax rolls at $215,300.

Using grant guidelines, the offer was completely in line with the program and consistent with how we make offers on all properties included in the grant. This is not a program to get people what they “want” for their property; it is a voluntary program that is designed to be fair to the property owner and fair to the taxpayer; the taxpayers ultimately pay for the program through their local, state and federal taxes.

Montplaisir is Cass County auditor.