Uncertain future after no federal shutdown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Uncertain future after no federal shutdown

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Operation New View in Dubuque is one of Iowa's 18 Community Action Agencies. It operates using federal dollars, and its executive director Tom Stovall is relieved the Federal Government avoided a crisis.

"We kind of estimated that, if there was a shutdown, that we could get by for about a month before we would just have to, actually us shut down," Stovall said.

Operation New View serves those in need in Jackson, Delaware and Dubuque Counties. Stovall said the agency's programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and 17 Head Start pre-schools, won't face cuts since the government avoided shutting down. The real concern, he said, comes with the 2012 budget.

Stovall said there's talk of slashing the Community Services Block Grant in half.

"We would have to look at closing our outreach offices in Manchester and Maquoketa and cutting way back here in Dubuque," Stovall said.

A greater number of people is coming through the agency's doors.

"We're seeing more and more people that need our services because of the economy. It's still not good," Stovall said. "We serve a lot of people who are laid off, unemployed."

Stovall said the LIHEAP faces cuts. It currently serves 5,000 households and costs $2.5 million per year. The Head Start program serves nearly 300 kids, he said, and costs $1.7 per year.

Had legislators not come to an agreement Friday night, some 800,000 government workers across the US would have faced furloughs or skipped paychecks.

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