Government shutdown affecting Central Texas - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Government shutdown affecting Central Texas

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Outside the entrance to Fort Hood Tuesday, a group of civilian employees gathered to protest the government shut down that is keeping them from work.

"This is wrong. They need to stop this," said Simon Ferin, a mechanic and carpenter on post. Now, he's hearing he could be without work for days or even weeks.

"That's a long time for people to be without funds."

Ferdin is one of about 6,000 civilian employees at Fort Hood impacted by the shutdown, according to Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin.

"Fort Hood has a $25.4 billion annual economic impact on the state of Texas, much of that is right here in central Texas. They are the largest single site employer in the state of Texas so it's really a big thing when 6,000 of those employees have a furlough."

Services that will shut down at Fort Hood include: commissary, building and housing maintenance and Army community services.

"I'm concerned that some of these people may question whether or not they want to continue to have a career in government service," said Corbin. Medical and emergency services, along with suicide and substance abuse counseling will continue.

The one potential upside to all of this, if there is an upside, is that the mayor believes Killeen may see a temporary increase in sales tax revenue if when the commissaries on post close, more people may shop at stores within the city. Of course if the shutdown continues and employees aren't getting paychecks, they may not be doing much shopping at all.

"They're going to have to use what little money they have to do things like pay their mortgage payment, utilities."

As long as the shutdown continues, the impact could become even more severe.

"Those who are claiming the shutdown doesn't have an impact need to come make a field trip to Killeen, TX."

There will also be mandatory furloughs at Camp Mabry. According to the Department of Defense, about 50,000 civilian workers in Texas could be impacted by the shutdown.

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