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Shutdown not hurting contractors at Crane center

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Defense contractors with southern Indiana's Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center say the partial federal government shutdown hasn't slowed down their work much.

The head of an industrial park neighboring the sprawling base said he didn't know of any area contractors that had to stop work because of the shutdown.

Most area contractors already have contracts in place, WestGate at Crane Technology Park director Don Schulte told The Herald Times. Those contractors could face problems if an extended shutdown causes delays in receiving payments or in decisions being made on new contracts, he said.

"The immediate impact is not as huge," Schulte said. "It's just trying to figure out, where do you go from here with lease agreements or employees? When do they expect additional money to come?"

The facility southwest of Bloomington has more than 4,000 civilian employees, and its work ranges from defusing old bombs to developing high-tech jamming devices used to block the detonation of roadside bombs.

Most of Crane's activities are funded by sources other than direct congressional appropriations, so they weren't subject to the shutdown that started last week. Navy spokesman Ken Cronk said 15 Crane employees were furloughed by the shutdown but were recalled over the weekend along with most military civilian workers.

Doug McDaniel, president of Bloomington-based Scientia LLC, said his company was moving ahead on it projects with Crane without many problems from the shutdown.

"We didn't get any notification of anything we needed to change," he said. "We're still working pretty feverishly."

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