Sequestration to hit Middle Georgia
As sweeping sequestration cuts go into effect, central Georgia will feel the effects locally.
"Worst case we'd be crying wolf, but best case we're preparing the community for the potential impacts of sequestration which are vastly great," said 21st Partnership COO Chrissy Miner. Retired Air Force General and Partnership CEO Bob McMahon met with Robins Air Force Base stakeholders at the end of January to talk about the effects of sequestration.
McMahon was out of town Friday, but Miner says some of the things he detailed were massive amounts of furloughs for base employees, resulting in more than a $5,000 dollar loss in pay per employee affected.
"A 20-percent pay cut for every employee, or most employees on the base, so that's a substantial cut," Miner said.
The partnership estimates overall an $83 million dollar loss in earnings, and $54 million dollar loss in spending potential between March and September trickling down into Middle Georgia's economy.
Another Middle Georgia mainstay taking a hit at midnight is the Ocmulgee National Monument.
"He had a call from the director of the national parks service a couple hours ago, and he said to being putting your plans into effect, and so whether anything is going to be able to change in the real near future i don't know, but we were told to go ahead and plan for a 5-percent reduction for the remainder of the year," Said Park Superintendent Jim David.
David says he had to cut $65,000 out of his $1.2 - million budget. The park will be cutting back on maintenance workers for the summer, and decreasing funding for its annual Indian celebration, a better alternative David says, then cutting the celebration altogether.
"we had about 19-thousand people here last year, and so it's a great event, it would hurt not only the tribes, but also would hurt the city of Macon by not bringing that funding into the town," David said.
Even though nobody knows how far the cuts will reach, Miner says her organization is doing its best to keep people informed.
"Even though we live in a very uncertain time, when dealing with these actions, you still need to be aware of what's on the table and what's possibly coming down the road," Miner said.
To keep up to date with the 21st Century Partnership Miner says you can check the organizations Facebook page titled 21stCenturyPartnership or follow them on Twitter @21stCPMiddleGA