Local impact of Government Shutdown

By KBJR News 1

October 1, 2013 Updated Oct 1, 2013 at 5:17 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- For the first time in nearly two decades, Congress was unable to come to an agreement on the budget, forcing a government shut down.

The shutdown is already having an impact here in the Northland.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing is being dealt another round of furloughs.
More than one thousand military technicians in Minnesota will be furloughed...with about 180 of them from Duluth's fighter wing.
Army Lieutenant Colonel John Lovald, the Minnesota National Guard Director of Human Resources, sent out the following statement:

"Due to the government shutdown, Minnesota National Guard supervisors began informing military technicians this morning that they are furloughed until further notified."

He went on to say that it is important that the people of Minnesota know that our citizen soldiers and airmen remain ready to respond to state or federal emergencies.

Also as part of the shutdown, "WIC" or Women, Infants and Children programs were thought to be shut down but we spoke with Mary Mahan, the Douglas County WIC director who says that's not the case.
She did say, however, the WIC program is federally funded, and at some point, funds could run out.

"Our state WIC director is saying we're fine for now. We want to encourage people to still go use their WIC vouchers at the grocery store and we'll keep them informed of any news that comes about," said Mary Mahan, Douglas County WIC Director.

WIC employees say they have been flooded with phone calls from parents concerned they will no longer be able to get formula or food, but they're reassuring them that the vouchers are still there.

On another front, John Matthews, the Vice President of Retail Lending at the National Bank of Commerce in Superior, says people with rural development U-S-D-A home loans will face delays.

He says the shutdown could have a negative impact on both buyers and sellers.

"I think if you look at the market at any given time, you know, ten to fifteen percent of these active listings could be pending sale. If you think about it that way the pending sales I think are going to decrease," said John Matthews, Vice President of Retail Lending at National Bank of Commerce.

National Bank of Commerce wants to make it clear they're still approving home loans at this time.

Now there is a bright side about the government shutdown.

Many agencies in Duluth and Superior really aren't feeling the effects of the shutdown.

A number of federal services, not being impacted, include the U-S postal service, veteran's services, social security and travel.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.