WIC checks could bounce

By Kristina Jackson

Riley County is seeing the effects of the federal government shutdown in several ways, according to officials who spoke at the county commission meeting Thursday.

Brenda Nickel, director of the Riley County Health Department, said the Women, Infants and Children program will be greatly affected by the shutdown.

Participants in the program — 3,100 in Riley County — will only be able to cash checks dated in October.

Some participants receive checks from the program in three-month increments, meaning that some will have checks dated in November and December that might not be redeemable.

The Health Department will contact participants in the WIC program as funds available.

The program has sufficient funds for October, and officials will notify participants if there are sufficient funds for the next two months. If there are insufficient funds, participants will not be able to use checks dated in November and December to purchase the appropriate items.

Lyle Butler, president of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, said businesses have seen decreased revenue as a result of the shutdown.

“If someone’s going to furlough you, you’re not going to make big purchases,” Butler said.

He said that the falling business could have an effect on sales tax and other sources of revenue for the county.

According to Butler, the decrease in business in Aggieville and downtown was also slowed by construction in both areas. However, he said the Poyntz construction should result in an even more active downtown.

“We have new restaurants coming in and we’re going to have an even more vibrant downtown,” Butler said.

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