City of Lincoln sends money to Feds but shutdown still happens
October 2, 2013, The Herald, The story you are about to read is true. It is not April 1 nor any other holiday that would perhaps lend to a moment where humor and exaggeration would step across into the bounds of reality.
The Lincoln Fire Department was recently informed that it would be receiving a very nice FEMA grant to underwrite the costs of software and hardware to outfit their department and the Building & Safety Office with new report tools. As Chief Miller was working on the paperwork for the new grant, he was informed that there had been a problem with the most recent grant the department had received. In essence, the federal government overpaid the City of Lincoln on the prior grant and would not proceed with the paperwork on the new grant until the City paid back the overpayment.
Chief Miller, wanting to proceed with his new grant, but also recognizing that an infusion of City of Lincoln money into federal coffers could, perhaps, provide the extra boost to close the gap between Congressional and White House budget negotiators, acted with characteristic speed and dispatch.
He contacted City Clerk Susan Gehlbach and had her immediately cut a check. City Treasurer, Chuck Conzo was not in the office yet last Friday morning, so Susan had Mayor Snyder countersign the check so it could immediately be sent to the FEMA office in Atlanta, GA. While Washington postured and dawdled all weekend, Chief Miller and the City of Lincoln took the steps they could to infuse much needed cash into the evaporating federal system. Alas, the city's efforts were not enough, and the federal shutdown still occurred on Tuesday.
The amount of the check the city was required to send to the Feds before future grants could be considered was 25 cents.