California City Shuts Down for 2 Weeks to Save Money

The Central Coast city of Watsonville is temporarily shutting down many services and laying off employees for two weeks to save money amid declining revenue.

The closure, which started Monday, was approved by the city council earlier this month to help reduce a $561,000 deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.

The holiday shutdown includes libraries, recreation programs, street repairs, recycling drop-off, administrative services and front-office staffing at the police and fire departments.

The closure will not affect garbage pickup, water delivery, the airport, city parking lots or police and fire services.

The city blames the shutdown on decreasing sales taxes, a drop in state aid and the failure of a 911 tax ballot measure.