Former Sioux Falls mayor remembers previous shutdown - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Former Sioux Falls mayor remembers the effects of the previous government shutdown

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Do you remember where you were November 14th or December 16th, 1995?

Those are the dates the federal government shutdown, back in the nineties.

Former Sioux Falls Mayor Gary Hanson remembers those days all too well.

Hanson remembers for some people, the shutdown was no big deal, while others actually embraced it.

But for the city of Sioux Falls to survive the shutdown and the loss of federal funds, he says it had to go into crisis mode to make sure we didn't suffer any more than necessary.

The federal government may promise money to fund projects in Sioux Falls but sometimes promises made, can be broken.

"Money doesn't show up, and doesn't show up for years, as matter of fact. And it's exacerbated by the fact when you have a federal government shutdown, then there's all the reason in the world for them to have the excuse why not to send the money that was promised to you," Hanson said.

Hanson remembers the nineties, and not everyone worried about the government not being up and running.

"Some people actually welcomed it because they felt the federal government was bloated, and so they thought hey this was the perfect opportunity to cut back perhaps on some of the federal government. I think a lot of us feel that way that there is just too much government," Hanson said.

And he says for some people in Sioux Falls, the shutdown was a non-event," Hanson said.

"It took place, and it didn't affect them at all, at least they didn't see that it affected them, because a lot of the necessary programs were still taking place, you had all of the city services that take place and Sioux Falls is not that terribly dependent upon the federal government," Hanson said.

But Hanson recalls some financial help from the federal government may be critical.

"Our public health center, where we have doctors providing medical services and nurses providing medical services to the community, especially those folks, that's designed for those folks who don't have the funds to go elsewhere. That was of great importance to us," Hanson said.

It's interesting that government funded health care, which is an issue in the current shutdown,  was a concern for the city during the last one.

There are many government services which people rely on, while others worry about how it spends money.

But Hanson said it's a balancing act.

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