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Havre de Grace mayor provides relief for residents affected by government shutdown

Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin, right, with City Council President David Glenn, signs an executive order giving furloughed federal employees an extra month to pay their city bills.
Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin, right, with City Council President David Glenn, signs an executive order giving furloughed federal employees an extra month to pay their city bills.(Courtesy Adam Rybczynski)

Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin wants to give a break to people who went unpaid for more than a month because of the federal government shutdown.

He signed an executive order this week giving people furloughed a one-month waiver from late fees and penalties for city water and sewer bills and city real property taxes.

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The government shutdown, by the numbers

“I know a lot of federal employees live in Havre de Grace because of proximity to [Aberdeen Proving Ground],” Martin said Wednesday. “We want to have our government work for you, not against you.”

Anyone who lives in Havre de Grace or owes the city money can have an extra month, without penalty, to pay their bills, he said.

“We wanted to recognize that likely the last thing people want to do when they get their first paycheck is pay a $300 water bill,” Martin said.

Concerned about the effects of a recently ended partial federal government shutdown, Maryland lawmakers are considering ways to cope should politicians force another closure. Unemployment benefits for nonessential employees, pay for contract workers and help with utility bills are on the table.

It’s more likely they’ll pay for food, or credit cards or mortgages, he said.

Residents must provide a copy of the latest pay stub and a copy of their W-2 and any other documentation demonstrating they were furloughed during the 35-day shutdown.

If the government were to shut down again this month, Martin said he will re-evaluate and could amend his executive order.

Anyone with questions can call city hall, 410-939-1800.

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