NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell met with county commissioners on Thursday night to discuss a troubled budget.
His first proposal would cut more than $21 million from last year's budget in order to avoid a hike in taxes.
"I feel like the taxpayers in this county have enough on their back and I don't think they need any additional burden," said County Commissioner Ted Davis.
Suggestions include cutting back library hours, freezing all vacant positions, and continuing furloughs for county employees including three government shut down days.
Several commissioners think raising taxes is inevitable in trying economic times.
"How much do we cut before we really, seriously can affect the quality of life in New Hanover County," said commissioner Jonathan Barfield. "You never want to cut your budget to the extent that law enforcement, fire protection, and water and sewer are jeopardized, because those things have got to be provided."
The debate will continue over the next two months, deciding exactly where and how to use their limited resources.
Commissioners will hear the public's opinion on the budget June 1 and will have their final budget vote on June 22.
To view a copy of the proposed budget, click here.