Shutdown: OSU Hemorrhaging, City Okay for Now

shutdownOSU research facilities and services have been hit particularly hard by the government shutdown. Researchers have been unable to get to work, and those who collaborate with NOAA, the EPA, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Geological Survey have also had their activities or research projects delayed. Some projects have been destroyed simply by being shut off. The suspension of funds has been shown to have affected nearly 2/3’s of all research projects at OSU, amounting to roughly $600,000 a day in lost revenue.

Unfortunately the shutdown does not just affect OSU. Many of the city services provided by Corvallis, though primarily funded by local taxes, fees, and funding from the State, also receive funding from the Federal government, through revenue sharing programs, grants, and contracts. From urban development and financial planning to upgrades to the city airport, a great many city services rely on federal revenue.

Janet Chenard, from the City Finance Department, pointed out that if the shutdown were to go for another month or two, the city would begin to notice delays in revenue sharing programs. However, because some grants and contracts are issued by the federal government on a reimbursement basis, a short term shutdown shouldn’t negatively affect the city.

One potential impact from the shutdown, is a default on Federal treasury bonds, which could cause interest rates in the municipal bond market to rise. That would mean that the next time the city wanted to embark on a city works project, the cost would be higher. What happens over the next weeks and months in regards to the playing out of the shutdown could severely impact Corvallis as well as many other cities.

by William Tatum