As the partial federal shutdown continues with no end in sight, the Rockland area is offering assistance to Coast Guard families going without pay.

Rockland City Manager Tom Luttrell said two Coast Guard families have already sought aid from the city's fuel assistance program. Luttrell made a pitch at the Monday, Jan. 14, Rockland City Council meeting for donations to the fuel fund.

The Area Interfaith Outreach food pantry in Rockland has also publicized that Coast Guard families can use its services.

Rockland Ford owner Tony Esposito announced he has donated $100 Hannaford gift cards to all 32 Coast Guard families.

He said he felt it was his civic duty to help the people affected by the government shut down.


And the Hampton Inn & Suites in Thomaston has posted on its Facebook page its effort to help these families.

"We Stand Up When They Shut Down! Starting today we have opened our doors as a donation drop off location for our local Coast Guard Families. Today is the first day they will not be paid," the Facebook post states.

"We are now accepting donations! Food and gift cards can be dropped off at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 190 New County Road, Thomaston. We will be sure all is donated properly, so they are able to benefit from our community's generosity and support their families during this time," the post read.

The Maine Lobster Festival delivered $2,500 in Wal-Mart gift cards to the Hampton Inn that the non-profit organization purchased to donate for Coast Guard families.

"We can only hope and pray that the shut down is resolved soon. God Bless all of our government workers, and thank you for your service, and for volunteering every year to make our Festival the best it can be," Celia Crie Knight, president of the Festival Board stated on Facebook.

Maine Water announced Tuesday it would work with its customers who are furloughed federal employees to maintain their water service until their paychecks start flowing again.

“Water service is critical for families to be able to comfortably live in their homes, and we do not want these furloughed workers to feel their water service is at risk,” stated Richard Knowlton, president of Maine Water Company in a news release issued Jan. 15.

Knowlton further stated, “We work with all customers who have hardships that affect their ability to pay their water bill, and this includes furloughed federal workers. Maine Water will waive interest fees on overdue balances and work with furloughed federal workers to maintain their water service until their paychecks resume.”

Federal workers who are affected by the partial government shutdown and have a water bill due soon are encouraged to call Maine Water at 1-800-287-1643 to advise the company of their situation.  Customer service specialists will work with them to ensure that their water service is continued and advise workers of any local assistance options.