Government shutdown impacts Clay Center community

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Updated: Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:40:31 CST

Tuesday morning both state and federal employees reported to work at Clay Center's US Meat Animal Research Center. 

By 11:00 am, the federal employees had left-- furloughed by the government shut down.  Only the state employees remained to take care of the animals and crops at the facility.

Just because the state employees were at work Tuesday doesn't mean they aren't affected by the shutdown. UNL's South Central Research and Extension Center is located inside one of the the federal buildings, which means their employees were forced to find somewhere else to work.

One woman with the Research and Extension Center told News 5 she turned to the Great Plains Veterinary Education Center for refuge.  Other employees went to other offices or are working from home.

But with the doors locked, research projects were left behind.

Clay Center City Council President Nanette Shackleford's husband is one of the scientists who was forced to abandon his work.  Shackelford said leaving those projects could erase all the work they've already done.

"If you were going to get all the ingredients together and then go somewhere for a month and then come back and then hope that those ingredients are somehow going to be fresh enough to really do something that's going to make a good cake," said Nanette Shackleford.

And outside of the facility, the whole community is also feeling the strain.

"Fuel sales or food, you know, those kind of things. Of course people are going to slow down for that. A lot of them won't be coming to Clay Center to go to work and so that's going to have an impact on us as well," added Shackleford.

Then there's the businesses that depends on the Research Center.

"The businesses coming in for deliveries of all sorts and that suppliers that, you know, it's probably on a bigger scale than what we see in our day to day stuff," said Walter Traudt, a Clay Center resident.

And the biggest worry of all? No one knows when it will all end.

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