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Editorial: Four-lane '60' may have to wait

A notable letter from Tracy Hatch, chief financial officer of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), arrived at the Daily Globe Monday morning. Dated June 15, 2011, the subject matter was regarding "Potential Temporary Suspension of State Contract Performance & Payments."

The letter goes on to describe what could take place from MnDOT's standpoint should a new biennial budget not be approved by the end of June 30 -- nine short days from today. Arguably the most important passage in the letter is the following: "In the absence of legislatively authorized appropriations as of July 1, 2011, all work, activity and performances under our contracts must be suspended as of that date, pending authorized appropriations, as will all payments required of this agency under those contracts."

To put that passage in Worthington terms: Work on Minnesota 60 would come to a standstill. A delay, of course, would not only prolong the inconvenience for those who utilize the highway -- and those who do business along it -- but also result in an increased project cost when it's ultimately completed.

This is just one of the many, many ramifications a government shutdown would have on our residents. Last week, this newspaper reported on how a shutdown could affect the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Today, the Worthington District 518 school board will meet with state legislators to discuss the potential staffing impacts of a shutdown.

Attention, legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton. Get it done. Now.