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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — People are feeling the effects of the government shutdown nation-wide, including right here in New Hanover County.

With zero federal dollars coming into the county, local programs like the Health Department’s WIC program, which provides low income mothers with essential items like formula and baby food, may suffer.

The effects have residents wondering if county officials can step in.

“Our job as county officials and very limited, as it should be,” said New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White. “Federal programs that fund those types of programs are passed through dollars. There is no match. It is not possible for us to put on the burden of our local tax payers federal programs.”

The county does have a type of savings account, though, called a fund balance.

“Our fund balance is there number one to make sure we have enough resources to fund county government,” said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said the fund balance helps the county borrow money with better interest rates, essentially allowing the county to pay less to fund programs like Wave transit. He said tapping into this fund now would hurt tax-payers in the end. He said the government would likely not pay the county back.

“I don’t know where we would find $300,000 a week to replenish what the federal government is not sending to the counties,” said Barfield.

According to county officials, the only remedy is to get on the phone and call your congressmen and senators.

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6 Comments on "County funds cannot bail out federal programs"

2015 years 10 months ago

I disagree that the only remedy is to call your Congressmen. Perhaps we should be looking harder now at the people who SHOULD be supporting these kids and families such as deadbeat dads/moms who are paying nothing for their kids while everyone wrings their hands that the government is not taking care of them.

2015 years 10 months ago

Maybe a paying job would be the answer for all the WIC recipients. I saw one on the news that said she didn’t know how she would feed her baby and another said she might actually have to get a job…..imagine that!

2015 years 10 months ago

For some people, sponging off tax dollars is the only way in life they know because that is how their parents lived. That is all they know and since we allow welfare to go on endlessly, there is no incentive to gain skills or an education.

2015 years 10 months ago

Ummm…what they show in the media represent less than 20% of who the actual recipients. Most who have WIC are families that do not qualify for any other food benefits and maybe medical insurance for their kids and they are working class…imagine that

2015 years 10 months ago

I think that every unemployed parent who is receiving government funds should be made to work in a daycare facility, and the benefits that they receive should be offset by the amount that they earn from that job.

Becky Blake
2015 years 10 months ago

How about the grandparent that got child out of harmful surroundings just need help with daycare to work so. Don’t ask for wic or food stamps. Don’t ask for check. I pay taxes and work 6 days a week plus coupon and vacation locally to make life happen. Why am I cut off?


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