Ft. Lee to suffer major cuts if Washington can't agree on budget - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Ft. Lee to suffer major cuts if Washington can't agree on budget


Massive budget cuts that could impact millions of Americans, could be just hours away. Those cuts are set to take effect Friday, if Washington can't agree on a budget.

In Virginia, one of the places which would be hit hard is Fort Lee. The Army post would lose $84 million, and furloughs are looming.

Fort Lee has already begun to feel the pinch of federal budget cuts. Base spokesman Stephen Baker said Fort Lee has reduced operations by 30 percent, since January.

Layoffs for civilian contract workers on Fort Lee have already begun. Starting Friday, hours for the shuttle service, which transports troops and workers around the base, are set to be slashed.

"So the ball is already in motion as far as us reducing services to make sure we're able to operate in a constrained environment," said Baker.

A 22-day furlough threatens more than 2,600 civilians who work on the base to support the troops. That's a 20 percent drop in pay.

"We're also concerned not just about our own families at home, but what it means for our ability to support our troops," continued Baker. "We're making sure that our soldiers and their families are taken care of."

Civilians provide services like childcare, education, relocation and transportation for service men and women at Fort Lee.

The cuts won't just affect Fort Lee, but all the surrounding businesses, like Taylor's Auto Service.

"Fort Lee is our neighbor. And they are our customers also. We're probably looking at a good 25 percent loss of revenues," theorized Janelle Taylor, who owns the auto repair shop with her husband.

The sequestration would result in a loss for everyone who serves at Fort Lee, continuing on with the same dedication- now with fewer resources.

"We don't do this job because we're in it for the fame or the glory. We do it because we want to support the troops," said Baker.

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