Brunswick & Middletown say they are not directly funded by the feds.
Two Frederick County communities don't fee sequestration will have much of an impact on them. Representatives from Brunswick and Middletown say their municipalities do not receive direct federal funding. Rick Weldon, City Administrator in Brunswick, says any money from Washington comes to the city as a "pass-through" grant or loan. "There are some grant programs that are connected through, and there are funding streams that originate with federal agencies that come to us through the state and county government," Weldon says.
It's the same way in Middletown, says Town Administrator Drew Bowin. "Most of the funds we receive as pass-through are usually in some form of grants or loans that we use for the construction of water and sewer projects," he says. "Those projects may be affected for future awards, but those are not things that we need on a daily basis, or a day-to-day basis."
Severe cuts in federal spending could take place beginning on Friday, March 1st, and that could have a drastic affect on government operations, particularly in such areas as meat inspections, FAA towers at airports and other tasks. Predictions are that federal workers and contractors could be furloughed or laid off. Local merchants, restaurateurs and other businesses could see fewer customers as government workers make less trips to the stores to shop.
Both Bowin and Weldon say they are concerned about this. "That's the much bigger impact for Middletown itself is how is this going to affect the population that's here," says Bowin. "We have a lot of people in Middletown that live here that work for the federal government, or are contractors that work for the federal government. That's the big impact that the town is concerned about."
Weldon says that's also a concern in Brunswick. "MARC would see an impact with not as many rail tickets sold, which means we now have to subsidize more of the cost of mass transit, if the ridership drops because people are being furloughed," he says.
But it's expected to be business as usual in both municipalities on March 1st, when the sequestration cuts are set to go into affect. "Most of the funds the town receives it uses to provide water and sewer are received from our residents here in the form of fees," says Bowin, Town Administrator in Middletown. "This is not going to be any action that the town's going to be taking." And Weldon says Brunswick city workers will be reporting for duty as they are scheduled. "We'll probably laugh at the inefficiency, lack of effectiveness of our federal legislators and federal executive. But in terms of the real effect, we'll just keep doing the job we do everyday, even though they seem to be completely unable to do their jobs," he says.
The sequestration cuts could be avoided if Congress and the President can come up with a solution by Friday to avoid the deep spending reductions. But there's a stalemate with Republicans in Congress who want cuts and won't consider any tax hikes, and the President who has said he wants a balanced approach to include targeted cuts, and increases in taxes on the wealthy.