Government shutdown affecting Pike County

Published 3:00 am Monday, December 31, 2018

The government shutdown is having an effect far past Washington D.C. The limited continuation of the USDA is having the largest impact on Pike County.

Thursday, the Troy City Council approved interim financing for Kimber Manufacturing in light of the shutdown.

“The USDA loan could be delayed due to the government shutdown,” Reeves said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t have any delays and no cashflow issues related to the project.”

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The USDA partial closure is also having an affect on people looking to buy a home through the USDA program.

“That’s our only program that’s really going to be affected by the shutdown,” said Maxine Laney, head of the mortgage department for Troy Bank and Trust. “Employees of the USDA are not working so no guaranteeing loans can be issued.”

Laney said the program is very popular for young couples as it provides 100 percent financing.

“It’s for people that have no savings and want to buy a home; they can afford a home but just don’t have the savings to buy it,” Laney said. “We have several in the process that closing is going to be delayed until the shutdown is over.”

Loans through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) will not be affected, however, because FHA employees do not have to be there for the loans to close.

“The type of lending we’re involved with for those loans, the investors themselves are issuing approvals,” Laney said. “The FHA employees don’t have to be there for those types of loans to close.”

Starting December 28, the Pike-Bullock Farm Service Agency will also be closed until the government reopens. Local officials said they are not authorized to speak about the shutdown, but the USDA website confirms that the agencies would remain open only until December 28 and that farm loan services would be limited.

The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year, as President Donald Trump sought to raise the stakes Friday and both parties traded blame in the weeklong impasse.

Agreement eludes Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power, and that sets up the first big confrontation between Trump and newly empowered Democrats. Trump is sticking with his demand for money to build a wall along the southern border, and Democrats, who take control of the House on Jan. 3, are refusing to give him what he wants.

The shutdown is forcing hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors to stay home or work without pay, and many are experiencing mounting stress from the impasse. It also is beginning to pinch citizens who count on public services. Gates are closed at some national parks, new farm loans will be put on hold beginning next week, and in New York, the chief judge of Manhattan federal courts suspended work on civil cases involving U.S. government lawyers, including several civil lawsuits in which Trump himself is a defendant.