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Poor turnout for Brunswick budget hearing

READ MORE: Poor Turnout for Brunswick County Hearing
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Brunswick County, NC (WWAY)- The deadline for North Carolina Counties to finalize their budgets is quickly approaching. Even with funding questions due to the struggling economy, few people showed up to share their opinions at the Brunswick County public hearing.

The Brunswick County budget was just one of ten public hearings on Monday's agenda. But even with a packed schedule there were plenty of open seats at the County Commissioner meeting.

"I would rather people come to the commissioner's meeting and express their frustration, if they have them, instead of in the barber shop or in the beauty shop, or in the grocery store," said Mary Earp of Brunswick Senior Resources Inc.

"This is the first time for me and expected that the room would be absolutely packed," said Carol Phelps of Brunswick Family Assistance. "I was thinking that I might not get a seat."

Just a handful of people showed up to share their thoughts on the Brunswick County budget. Most said they were happy the county did not have to layoff any employees and no furloughs will be included in the upcoming budget. Commissioners managed to provide some money for most of the non-profit organization requesting funding, but some representatives say they’re surprised they weren’t given the full amount they requested.

"We're serving the low income people," said Phelps. "And if we have to cutback our services it means they're going to go to the local and county governments looking for help, looking for food, looking for help with the rent, the utility bills, and all the other financial assistance that we give."

"The money's not here," said Earp. "It's tight times."

Some county residents showed up to represent their communities and stay informed on the upcoming budget. Even those who didn’t speak were concerned more people didn’t attend the meeting.

"I wish there were more people interested," said Lewis Dozier of Supply. "That's the only way were going to get and maintain better government."

All county budgets must be finalized by July 1st. Brunswick County commissioners will vote on a final version at their next meeting June 21st.

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