DOE employees & surrounding community hope for deal, prepare for furlough

Without any deal in Washington, the government shutdown continues this week. Now, many East Tennessee government workers are anticipating furloughs.

"The mood of the town is 'wait and see,"' said Oak Ridge Mayor, Tom Beehan.

"Nervous, would be another word."

Last week, Y-12 initiated an orderly shutdown, and notified employees to prepare for furloughs. The facility is waiting for a final decision from the National Nuclear Security Administration.

10News contacted the NNSA Tuesday afternoon, but a spokesperson has not yet returned those calls.

A group of demonstrators in Oak Ridge protested the gridlock in Washington Tuesday afternoon. Organizing for Action Tennessee planned the protest at the Atomic Trades & Labor Council to tell Congress "reopen the government, pay the bills, and get back to work."

"This town depends a lot on the federal government," said Mayor Beehan. "That's a great mission, and a great history. That's whats going on here, and that's what will be affected if this shutdown is not accomplished and finished by Thursday."

In Jackson Square, Razzleberry's restaurant and ice cream shop relies heavily on DOE employees as customers.

"Any government holiday, the place is empty, said owner Waldek Kaczocha. "That's why I hope we're not going to have a long holiday."

Most tables were full in his restaurant during the lunch hour Tuesday. He says potential furloughs could change that.

"It's going to be bad. It's going to effect everybody," he said. "It's going to be a like a domino reaction -- from the big guys to the small guys, small business."


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