By CLINT FOSTER
The government shutdown in Washington, D.C., has been the headline story in national news outlets so far in the month of October.
Everyone who has watched the news the past week knows the impact on the nation, as a whole, and on Capitol Hill; but what about the local impact?
How does the government’s self-silent treatment effect services in Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County?
The short answer is not very much.
“The shutdown will have a negligible impact on us, if any at all,” said Mineral Wells City Manager Lance Howerton. “We don’t deal with the federal bureaucracy on a daily basis. In fact, it’s more uncommon than it is common.
“If this goes on for a protracted period of time – for weeks and months – then, certainly, there may be some issues that might arise that would effect us. For all practical purposes, we are not impacted to any extent at all.”
Howerton plainly pointed out that the local government and it’s associated entities will continue to function as normal. The U.S. Postal Service is still delivering mail and the police are still protecting the streets.
Other local groups that depend on some federal funding have also said the impact will be negligible, provided, of course, that the shutdown does not persist for months on end.
A representative from Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County said they have not been directly impacted, as of yet, nor has Mineral Wells Independent School District according to Superintendent Gail Haterius.
“All of the appropriations for our federally funded Title I and Title II, which is money to help supplement education for low-income [students] and English-language learners, was already set aside and these programs are run through our state education department,” Haterius said. “The Free and Reduced Lunch program has not had any delay in funding, nor is any expected at this time.”