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FIRST ON 3: Government shutdown costing New Hanover Co. $300,000 a week; Planning service cuts

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THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMAIL FROM COUNTY MANAGER CHRIS COUDRIET TO NEW HANOVER COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Commissioners:

I shared with you yesterday at agenda review that New Hanover County expects to lose $300,000 weekly in revenue because of the federal government shutdown. Those lost revenues come in the form of direct benefit reductions and are currently isolated to the Department of Social Services. In the near term or by month’s end the loss of revenue may grow to other department programs – most specifically known as of this date is the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program.

In response to lost funding, the administration is moving forward with the following reduction plan, effective immediately, to generate the necessary weekly reduction of $300,000:

· 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.

Clearly, the board can and may choose to override this plan. However, that should be done via a budget amendment to make dollars available.

As noted yesterday, there are real and direct impacts to the community by following this plan. These are not easy actions that we’re taking, but they are the consequence of Congress’ inability to pass a federal budget.

Impacts include:

· 16 adults receiving adult day care service will need to resort to long term care placement. These 16 adults receive care currently at Elderhaus and Adult Day Services.

· 3 service contracts with providers are suspended;

o 16 families and children receiving intensive in-home services via the Methodist Home for Children will be ended;

o 105 child and family mediations for families involved with child protective services will be ended

o 20 unemployed persons receiving job skill development and employment search services via Phoenix Employment Ministry will be ended.

· 1,588 child care subsidies for families will be ended, including 100 children in foster care. 84 child care facilities will lose this revenue.

This represents our first stop-loss plan with the predictable consequences of its implementation. We will revisit on a daily basis the elements in our plan, we will watch closely Congress’ progress, and above all we will keep the board apprised of what we learn, what we change, and what we implement.

Thank you in advance for your support of these difficult but necessary administrative actions.

Regards,

Chris C.

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