Looming Government Shutdown Would Affect Acadia
With lawmakers in Washington struggling to compromise, a government shutdown looms large tonight.David Mahoney from the U.S. Social Security office in Bangor says people who have already signed up for social security should still get their checks on schedule.One spot in Maine that would feel the sting of a government shutdown is Acadia National Park. Officials at Acadia say they have formed a contingency plan.Public Information Director Lynne Dominy tells us that if there is a shutdown the park will close but the state roads that pass through it will stay open.Inside Acadia Ocean Drive would be closed as will all roads with gates on them. All school and public programming at acadia will be cancelled and all park facilities will close. That includes the visitor center, restrooms, picnic areas, and campgrounds. “They’re telling us that if the shutdown comes tonight (Friday 4-8) at midnight that will start tomorrow (Saturday 4-9),” says Dominy. “So, for example, people that are staying in the park campground, they’ll be given a 48 hour window to make alternative plans and then other people that are impacted would be notified.”The park is still in winter operations, so some major parts of it aren’t due to open until next Friday. Acadia officials say they’re getting hourly updates on the events in Washington.There are some other important things to note in the event of a shutdown. Senator Susan Collins has co-sponsored legislation that would guarantee that military personnel would continue to be paid even if the government shuts down.Senator Olympia Snowe and Congressman Mike Michaud say they’ll forgo their salaries if the government shuts down. For people who are still working on their taxes Peggy Riley at the Internal Revenue Service tells us the tax filing deadline will still be April 18th. The IRS would stop processing paper-filed returns but would still process electronic returns and collect money owed to the government.State offices will remain open and mail deliveries would not be affected.