Local News

October 3, 2013

Local impact of federal shutdown expected to be limited

While scenes of the federal government shutdown dominate the national headlines, many local officials don’t expect it to have much of an impact on the services they provide or their operations.

“It should not directly affect us,” said Murray County Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman. “We do have some grant dollars (for economic development) that we have applied for. The shutdown could slow down that process, especially if it goes on for some time. And we do have Carters Lake. That’s operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, and they have closed down the public areas.”

Dalton City Administrator Ty Ross said the shutdown could affect work being done under a federal contract to remove trees from the flight line at Dalton Municipal Airport.

“We still don’t have a notice to proceed from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” he said. “If this drags out, we might see a delay there. But that’s the only impact that I am aware of.”

Whitfield County Administrator Mark Gibson said the shutdown hasn’t had any impact on county operations yet.

“At this point we are fully functional. Should the shutdown be prolonged and the federal agencies that distribute funding to local governments such as our own be slowed or stop completely then it certainly would,” he said.

There have been 17 federal shutdowns since 1977, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most lasted no more than one day. The longest lasted 21 days, from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 5, 1996.

The federal government did shut off new funding to Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides food and other necessities for low-income mothers and their children. But so far, WIC programs in Georgia continue to have funds.

“At this time, Georgia WIC is operating business as usual,” said Nancy Nydam, media relations manager for the Georgia Department of Public Health. “The Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia WIC are working on steps to keep WIC operating for as long as possible.”

Local school officials say they don’t expect the shutdown to affect their operations.

“We really don’t have a lot of information on how the federal shutdown will impact us except that the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) has informed us that the impact of the shutdown should be limited as related to federal grant funds,” said Pat Holloway, director of communications for Dalton Public Schools. “Because the majority of the funds provided for state fiscal year 2014 are actually from federal fiscal year 2012 carryover and federal fiscal year 2013 appropriations, we should not be greatly impacted by the lapse. ... The GDOE has also indicated that Race to the Top Funds are exempt from the shutdown. That’s about all we know thus far.”

Officials at Whitfield County Schools and Murray County Schools say they also aren’t expecting any impact, at least not immediately.

“We do get some federal funding, but for the most part, that’s reimbursement for money we spend locally first,” said Whitfield County Schools spokesman Eric Beavers. “And we usually don’t draw down any of that federal money until November.”

Medicare, the federal health care program for senior citizens, isn’t affected by the shutdown. And Hamilton Health Care System spokesman Daryl Cole said officials there don’t believe the shutdown will have an impact on the system’s operations, which include Hamilton Medical Center.

Text Only
Local News
  • runner thompson.jpg Taking the race back

    Dean Thompson didn’t go 100 yards in his 26.2 miles through the streets of Boston without seeing people on the side of the road cheering for him.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobby Lee Dixon mg.jpg Officials: Man jailed for driving toward officer

    A Chatsworth man who officials said accelerated a vehicle toward a law enforcement officer who was approaching on foot remains in the Murray County jail without bond.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Charges undetermined following standoff (Updated 5:45 p.m.)

    Police have yet to decide whether to press criminal charges against a man they say was armed and intoxicated while barricading himself in his office at a carpet mill in downtown Dalton Tuesday evening.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Man charged for using fraudulent Social Security card

    A man is being held in the Whitfield County Jail on multiple charges for using a fraudulent Social Security card with someone else’s Social Security number to land a job at a rug manufacturer in Dalton and for providing false information to receive workers’ compensation benefits, according to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division.

    April 23, 2014

  • Standoff 1 mlh.jpg Police: Four-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender

    A man who was armed with at least one firearm and believed to be under the influence of alcohol surrendered to police Tuesday night after barricading himself for four hours inside a carpet mill in downtown Dalton, officials said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray deputy bit by drug dog while taking selfie

    A Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputy is recovering after one of the department’s drug dogs bit him in the face on Monday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Local wrestler ‘made everybody smile’

    Rash Renegade got his wrestling nickname after a motorcycle wreck several years ago left him with a bad case of road burn.

    April 23, 2014

  • Pinwheels in murray '14 1 mlh.jpg Awareness can prevent child abuse

    Three hundred forty-six pinwheels dotted the Murray County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday, representing 346 reported cases of child abuse in the county last year.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Murray library, regional system still far apart

    Murray County officials say they will announce soon if they will follow through with their plan to take the Chatsworth-Murray Library out of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fire believed to have started outside home

    Investigators are still working to learn what sparked a fire that nearly destroyed a house at 602 Top St. in Dalton on Monday.

    April 22, 2014