Shutdown hurts Capital Region staff and citizens

Posted at: 10/01/2013 3:54 PM
Updated at: 10/01/2013 4:25 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

ALBANY -- Peter Marrella had hoped to remedy a tax problem at the IRS office located in the Federal Building in Albany today.  Instead, he's heading back to Schoharie County and the issue is unresolved.  The IRS, Marrella says, wasn't open.

"I didn't need to spend gas to get here and find out they are closed.  Now I go back home, which is over an hour, and then I have to come back," complains Marrella.

Also today, the mechanic bays were locked at the National Guard complex in Colonie.  At noon, four hundred civilian employees across our area learned they were furloughed.

"Until this is resolved, they are out of work and not being paid," explained Eric Durr, a spokesman for the National Guard.

The affected federal employees are office workers and those responsible for the maintenance on guard vehicles and aircraft.

"These are folks who turn wrenches to fix the trucks, turn the screwdrivers to fix planes. They push paper and do the administrative work necessary to keep an organization of 16,000 people moving," adds Durr.

A stand-still in the Capital Region until the stand-off in Washington is over.

"They are back and forth with one another and have no idea what they are doing," says Marrella.  "It's not good, it isn't good, I know that."

The last government shutdown lasted just more than three weeks.