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Howard County government won't cut off water for non-payment during federal shutdown

Howard County officials said Friday they will suspend cutting off residential water service to customers for payment issues until after the federal government re-opens.

Officials said in a press release that the county bills customers for water and sewer service four times a year, and shut-offs usually occur only after two late notices have been sent.

County Executive Calvin Ball said in a press release that the county — which is home to some 50,000 people who either work for the federal government or are federal contractors — had taken similar action during the last extended government shutdown, and he “wanted to make sure we continue helping our residents in as many ways as possible.”

The county will also suspend collection of fines and fees for overdue items at the public library until the end of the shutdown, and the county’s Department of Recreation in parks will allow impacted federal workers and contractors to set up an alternative payment plan for fees accumulated for classes and access to facilities.

Ball last week sent a letter to federal lawmakers and President Trump, urging them to find a bipartisan solution to end shutdown— which is now the longest in American history.

Trump on Friday said he would keep the government closed for “months or even years” until he secured money toward a border wall.

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