The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 30, 2013

Shutdown could delay local payments

MANKATO — A federal government shutdown could halt payments to local governments, such as for housing projects and school lunches, but a short-term shutdown would likely have little effect.

For example, the state website that school districts use for reimbursements from the federal government has been shut down. That means that districts wouldn’t be able to be reimbursed for lunches, special education and other commitments of the federal government.

But don’t they have reserves to handle delays like this?

“Well, yes, and we hope that this is a short-term arrangement,” said Jerry Kolander, director of business management for Mankato Area Public Schools. “We won’t have problems feeding all of our students.”

The shutdown would have to last three or four months before the lack of federal funds becomes a problem.

The city of Mankato may not be able to make payments to its contractors for capital projects in public housing, but believes it would still be able to provide monthly rent transfers for the voucher program, Community Development Director Paul Vogel said Monday afternoon.

He also said federal housing officials haven’t provided any firm guidance as to what would happen in a shutdown, but were meeting Monday afternoon in St. Paul to figure it out.

Dan Linehan

 

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