Shutdown Would Disrupt D.C. Trash Collection

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Vincent Gray announced today that DC's essential services will continue if the federal government shuts down, but the Department of Transportation, Public Works and Transportation Services will be interrupted. (Published Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011)

    If a budget deal is not passed by the end of the week, the District is going to get dirty.

    The Gray administration today released an advisory about what would stay open in the nation's capital and what would be shutting down.  Trash pick-up is just one of the many city services that would get disrupted.

    In the eyes' of the federal government, the city is treated the same way as a federal agency since it is subject to congressional control.  That means that some city employees will be designated "excepted," like police and emergency workers, and will remain on the job.  However, many functions of the city government would cease.

    Without a budget bill or extension passed this week, trash pickups will stop.  The Department of Public Works will recommence trash pickup 7 days later, or earlier if there is a public health emergency.

    Initially, conflicting statements were made regarding parking ticket writing in the event of a federal shutdown.  First, ticket writing would be suspended, and then another statement indicated that ticket writing would be enforced.  The City Administrator's office wrote at 4 p.m. Wednesday, "ticket writing will indeed be suspended during the event of a shutdown."  However, police will be able to write tickets for safety violations, such as parking in front of hydrants.

    Routine maintenance of roadways would cease.  Only a skeleton crew would remain to respond to emergency road conditions.

    The Department of Motor Vehicles would close.  No tags or registrations would be issued, and no inspections would be conducted.

    City offices for licenses, permits, and building inspections would all be closed.  So would public libraries.

    Public safety employees would remain on the job.  Police and fire would continue working.  Also, although adults might be staying home, public schools will remain open, and students are expected to attend.  Some portion of the Human Services department will remain open.

    If the shutdown does occur, thousands of city workers would be idled.  Elected officials will stay on the job, but will have to make do with fewer aides - council members would be limited to two staffers each.  More detailed contingency plans will be announced to city agencies over the next 48 hours.

    To read the plan released to the media today, click here.

    The city's chief financial officer did an assesment of the shutdown on the District.  According to Natwar M. Gandhi, D.C. stands to lose between $1 million and $6 million each week in tax revenue.