Government shutdown moderately impacts Tahoe

Note: While the shutdown came to end late Monday, it could start all over again in three weeks.

By Kathryn Reed

One of the casualties of the federal government shutdown is the impact on the meteorological conference taking place on the South Shore.

“We lost two speakers who were going to discuss fire safety issues and updates—a meaningful topic in light of Napa/Sonoma and SoCal fires. We adjusted and had another speaker talk about potential effects of shut down on weather issues,” Phil Weidinger with Weidinger Public Relations told Lake Tahoe News.

The shutdown that started last week is fluid in that lawmakers are continuing to negotiate a deal that could resolve the situation at any time. Tied to the funding measure and complicating matters is the issue of immigration.

The U.S. Forest Service is the major government agency in the Lake Tahoe Basin. All employees were told to report to work on Monday. However, most employees will be told to go home, with law enforcement staying on. For others there are protocols to adhere to before they can turn off the office lights.

As with past shutdowns, federal government workers are not guaranteed a paycheck while not working. It is essentially forced time off without pay and without knowing when they’ll be ordered back to work.

Congress members, though, continue to get paid even though they are the ones who caused the shutdown.

One agency still open is the U.S. Coast Guard in Tahoe City. “We’re always open,” is what they told Lake Tahoe News.

South Lake Tahoe has a local FBI office.

“All FBI agents and support personnel in field offices are excepted from furlough. Select personnel at FBI headquarters will be designated as excepted to provide direction and investigative support to all field operations and select headquarters functions,” FBI officials said in a statement.

Carl Hasty with the Tahoe Transportation District said of the shutdown, “It affects us, but at this time it does not directly affect our bus service.” There can be delays in processing requests and other administrative steps.

The shutdown is not affecting the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s day-to-day work.

If a project involved a federal partner, communication has stopped. That’s the case, though, for all entities dealing with the feds.

Douglas County will “monitor the situation as it unfolds,” according to County Manager Larry Werner. He told Lake Tahoe News at this point there are no known impacts locally.

In the early stages the shutdown should not be problematic for any local jurisdiction.

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