UPDATE: Gov't shutdown forces suspensions of services in NHC - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UPDATE: Gov't shutdown forces eliminations, suspensions of services in NHC: Community Reacts

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet sent an email to commissioners Friday afternoon explaining the potential deficits the county could face because of the federal government shutdown.

In the email, Coudriet explains "New Hanover County expects to lose $300,000" weekly in revenue and are "currently isolated to the Department of Social Services."

Several federally funded programs will be suspended, eliminated or frozen in an effort to make up for the weekly reduction of $300,000.

The email to commissioners states the administration is moving forward with the following reduction plan:

• Federally funded adult day care services will be eliminated;

• Federally funded social services contracts will be suspended;

• Federally funded child day care services will be eliminated;

• All vacant positions in the general fund will be frozen;

• All capital outlay purchases will be suspended for 90 days.

The closing of these facilities will impact several adults and children in the area. More than a dozen people receiving adult day care service will need to turn to long term placement until further notice.

This is the first stop-loss plan as a response to the federal government shutdown. Coudriet said in the email the administration will revisit elements of the plan on a daily basis and watch the progress in Congress closely.

WHAT LOCALS ARE SAYING

Jennifer Riker is the program director of Adult Day Services of Wilmington.  She said that she was notified Friday that her care-taking business could lose funding from the Department of Social Services due to the government shutdown.

"It was real hard as some of the clients left today to explain that they won't be coming back on Monday," said Riker.  "I'm gonna do everything in my power to figure out how to get some funds raised for those folks."

The business has 8 employees and 7 clients.  Riker aid that they will all be introuble if the facility loses funding from the county.

"They shouldn't have to suffer and their families shouldn't have to suffer," said Riker. 

The program director said she thinks the county could find room in their budget for care-taking services.

"I think the government should be very ashamed of themselves- including our county commissioners," said Riker.

RESPONSE FROM COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Jonathan Barfield, a member of the New Hanover County Board of County Commissioners, said he is ready for the government shutdown to end.  He said the county has to make cuts without federal funding.

"I would hate to see anyone lose their job or the company go under because of what the federal government's doing, but there's nothing more that the county can do," said Barfield.

"Right now with three hundred thousand dollars a week being shorted, there's no other place to go other than to stop services until we get those folks back in the federal government back to work."

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