The City of Hermiston and area school districts wont see any significant immediate effects from the government shutdown, which began Tuesday. Depending on the length of the closure, however, various federally funded programs could be impacted down the road. Postal service, school-lunch programs and others are expected to continue as normal, but federally owned parks such as McNary Beach and more will be closed.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a press release Tuesday, stating all Corps-operated campgrounds and day-use parks nationwide will be closed as a result of the federal government shutdown. Visitors currently camping at Corps campgrounds will be required to vacate by 8 p.m. today, and no new visitors or reservations will be accepted until after the shutdown ends.
The Cold Spring National Wildlife and Umatilla National Wildlife refuges will also be closed until government funding is restored.
On a city level, Hermiston City Manager Ed Brookshier said one of the only things the shutdown could affect is the citys effort to gain approval by the Environmental Protection Agency to allow the city to send treated wastewater through the West Extention Irrigation Districts ditch canal during the summer and into the Umatilla River during the winter.
Brookshier said the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality already approved the proposed changes in water standards for the effort during the summer of 2012, and officials are now waiting on the approval from the EPA, which is one of the agencies affected by the shut-down.
It is causing an unknown delay in our process, Brookshier said.
Umatilla City Manager Bob Ward said the City of Umatilla wont see any immediate affects from the federal shut down, other than the closure of various federally-owned parks in the area.
Hermiston Deputy Superintendent Wade Smith said there wont be any immediate negative impact on schools.
However, if a resolution is not found soon, there could be significant impacts down the road as we receive in the neighborhood of $2 million in federally funded grants and initiatives, he said.
Additionally, Umatilla Superintendent Heidi Sipe said all federally funded programs such as nutrition programs and instructional grants are continuing.