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Goldsboro assessing impact of sequestration at Seymour Johnson AFB

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It's estimated Seymour Johnson Air Fore Base has a $20 million payroll. It's estimated Seymour Johnson Air Fore Base has a $20 million payroll.
GOLDSBORO, N.C. -

In Goldsboro, 600 civilian employees at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base are affected by the military cutbacks created by sequestration.

This is the second week of furloughs for the air base.

The original Pentagon cuts involved the flight line for 336th fighter squadron, but those funds were restored yesterday. However, the civilian employees must still take furlough days and people are waiting to see just how it will shake out.

"It's hard to measure when you're talking cuts at Seymour because it involves housing, clothing, automobiles and things like that," said Wilber Shirley.

Shirley runs a local BBQ restaurant, and over the past few decades has seen good times and bad times when it comes to jobs at the base.

"This is something new," he said. "We've had cutbacks and we'd get over it, but this kind of cutback this is a different thing."

Seymour Johnson and the City of Goldsboro are tied together. As one prospers, so does the other; so any kind of cutbacks directly affect the local economy.

"When we heard there might be cutbacks, our concern was for some of the local businesses as well as for some that have moved on here," said resident Jack Boyette.

It's estimated the base has a $20 million payroll. The loss of some of those dollars flowing into the local economy will have a domino effect in everything from real estate and housing to all kinds services

"We are hoping they will be able to hold on through this period of this cutback and stay with us," explained Boyette.
 
But others think the impact of the cuts may be overestimated..

"I don't think it's going to hurt us that much," said resident Ray Boyette. "We all have to tighten our belts and get on budget once in a while."

Meanwhile the Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, is talking about more cutbacks next year. The folks living in Goldsboro say they don't want to talk about that unless and until it happens.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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