ANDERSON, Ind. — The federal government shutdown has caused little if any disruption in Madison County so far.
One obvious reason is there aren’t large federal buildings, military bases or national parks in the county. And those federal offices that do exist, such as the Social Security Administration offices on Scatterfield Road, are still operating, albeit with reduced services.
Most of the federal money that comes to the county arrives in the form of grants, for road and bridge improvements, low-income housing assistance, and other large projects.
“Things here should just click right along like they normally do,” said Madison County Board of Commissioners President John Richwine, R-North District.
Head Start, a federal preschool program that provides education services to low-income children, was hit with cuts in August after Congress enacted a sequestration of $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts over the next 10 years. The program lost 20 education slots in Madison County, as well as reduced transportation funding.
During this shutdown, however, the Head Start program, which serves 294 children in Madison County and another 295 in Delaware County, won’t be affected, no matter how long it lasts, said Sherry Edwards, a local Head Start official. “It’s very good news.”
John Raine, owner of Raine Inc., a local manufacturer of nylon military field gear as well as similar products used by police agencies, said the impact of a government shutdown is hard to assess.
“The impact depends on how long it lasts,” he said. Many of the company’s products are sold at military exchange retail stores, which aren’t affected by the partial government shutdown.
But many civilian military workers, who also buy and use Raine products, have been furloughed and that could affect sales. The bottom line?
“Anytime anyone in our customer base is not being paid, that will affect us,” he said.