VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The City of Virginia Beach is bracing for a series of possible layoffs, mandatory furloughs and hiring freezes resulting from the sequester.
In one scenario laid out by Director of Virginia Beach Management Services Catheryn Whitesell Tuesday, Virginia Beach City Public Schools could lose $2 million in federal funding if the sequester were still in place at the end of the year.
"This is our fifth day since sequestration happened, so effects are slowly starting to trickle in," Whitesall told Virginia Beach City Council.
Whitesall noted three days this calendar year which would signify large changes for the city as a result of the sequester.
- July 1: If the federal government can't come up it a solution including a new budget, city officials could be forced to freeze all new positions, freeze training and travel, freeze new construction and road maintenance and delay city employees pay increases for six months.
- Sept. 30: The situation becomes more dire. All non-sworn positions will be frozen, departments will be asked to cut 5 percent of discretionary spending and the school system will be prepared to cut its budget. The school system could lose more than $2 million in federal funding.
- Dec. 31: Worst case scenario. All city employees will have three unpaid furloughs days, saving $4 million. City officials would also be forced to look at potential layoffs.
Officials say sequestration could cause Virginia Beach to lose more than 5,100 jobs, most of which would be Department of Defense-related. Additionally, spending in the city would go down.
"Some of the impacts will hit this year's budget and some of them may carry over into next year's budget," Whitesell said.
Beach Mayor Will Sessoms told 10 On Your Side he was optimistic, but careful about the cuts.
"Ask me if I think that will happen... no I don't," Sessoms said. "To sit back and tell you that it hadn't been hugely on my mind it'd be lying. It's a huge thing on my mind."
In the meantime, the city is putting almost $9 million into fund that would be used for sequestration impacts. The mayor added the city has to find new sources of revenue that do not rely as heavily on the military.
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