Fort Stewart holds town hall meeting on upcoming furloughs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield brace for furloughs

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The impacts of the sequestration are beginning to take effect here at home. Next month, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield will be implementing furlough days and closures to deal with a budget reduction. 

At a townhall meeting Friday, soldiers, civilians and their families are beginning to understand the effects of the upcoming furloughs.

"I'm a little angry, more disappointed," said Mark Bowyer, a civilian worker at the installation. "The government for many years has over spent."

The furloughs are a result of a 30 percent budget cut at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, due in most part to the sequestration. The main impact is on civilian workers who will have to take 11 furlough days.

"I've taken some steps to downgrade the financial impact that I'm going to be having," said Boywer, who works at the medical clinic. "I'm just afraid that not everybody has been able to do that. Not everyone has been able to sock away the funds to be able to continue to pay their bills. "

For Casey Taylor-Racinelli, 11 furlough days is $1,000 a month out of her paycheck. As a mother of four, with one off to college, things may get tight.

"One of the biggest things that's hurting us is her not being able to get help with college," said Racinelli. "They think that I make too much money, but theres no questionaire that says are you being furloughed? You're really making less."

Folks will see some closures around post. For example, the library will be closed on Friday, along with Army Community Services and the transportation office. However, Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Gregory says you wont see an impact when it comes to safety.

"The reality is is we're running a city here. We can not not have the police force out. We've got to have fire and rescue. And then medical care still continues," said Gregory.

The impacts also stretch to education. The three elementary schools on the installation will not have school on Friday for the first five weeks of the school year.

In the medical world, only administrative employees will take furlough days. Therefore, folks may see a drop in convenience but not in care.

The furlough days will begin July 8 and last through the end of September.

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