IRS offices have shaky start as employees return to work

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HAUPPAUGE -

The Internal Revenue Service office in Hauppauge got off to a shaky start Monday as employees returned to work for the first time since the federal government shut down more than a month ago.

Wilma Sheridan says she had been waiting for tax documents from the IRS so she can finalize the sale of her Commack home.

"It's sold but the buyers can't get a mortgage until I can prove that I don't owe anything to the IRS," she says.

MORE: Longest shutdown over: Trump signs bill to reopen government

Sheridan and others were disappointed that the two IRS offices on Long Island were having computer problems Monday, delaying their opening until noon.

Even though Sheridan says she sympathizes with workers who were not paid during the shutdown, she says the reopening could have been handled better.

"It is really a disgrace," she says.

MORE: Federal workers set to miss another paycheck, seek aid amid shutdown

During the 35-day shutdown, the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley was open but only operating with a skeleton crew. Now that the refuge is back to 100 percent staffing, visitors say they couldn't be happier.

Avid bird watcher Sally Newbert says having federal facilities like Wertheim back at full staff will help protect the wildlife.

But a fully reopened government may only be temporary. President Donald Trump is already laying odds at less than 50 percent that a deal can be made on border security and wall funding to keep the government open. On Feb. 15, the latest round of funding runs out, which could trigger another shutdown.

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