Saturday, January 19, 2019
At a January 15 meeting, the Lompoc City Council approved a break in utility payments for federal workers who are going without pay during the partial government shutdown. The extension, effective from January 10 until February 12, gives an exemption from a 30-day late fee to customers who are federal employees and can demonstrate they are not being paid during the partial government shutdown. Vandenberg Air Force Base is next to Lompoc, and many of the roughly 7,000 people who work there are federal employees living in the city. Lompoc provides its citizen with water, waste management, and electrical utilities.
Lompoc spokesperson Samantha Scroggin said only a handful of workers have come forward so far, but the city is implementing these extensions “in an effort to be proactive rather than reactive to the government shutdown situation.” The extension is expected to have a minimal effect on the city budget because the revenue is not forgone but rather delayed until after the shutdown.
More requests from federal employees were expected in the coming weeks if the government shutdown continues, Scroggin said. The current end date for these extensions is February 12, but the date could be pushed back if the shutdown does not end by then.
Other cities in the county that were contacted have not announced plans to offer extensions. Valerie Cantella, Goleta's spokesperson, said the city did not provide utilities for its residents.