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Post, local leaders talk budget cuts
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Fort Stewart invited its community partners to a working lunch Friday, to discuss cuts to the installation’s operating budget.

Mayors, county commission chairs, and county and city administrators from communities surrounding Fort Stewart, including Hinesville, Richmond Hill, Flemington, Pembroke and Midway, and Liberty, Bryan and Evans counties, attended the event.

Military leaders told their civilian counterparts funding has been reduced for a number of services at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield along with other army installations across the country.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd ID deputy commander general-rear and garrison commander Col. Kevin Milton said the post’s operating budget for 2010 is about a 50 percent decrease over last year’s $184 million operational budget.

Milton said Fort Stewart has been able to rely on contingency funds in the past to fund services, but now the post must function solely on its operational budget. The level of some services will have to be reduced, he said.

Phillips said although all installation services are valued by someone, post services must be prioritized.

"We’re looking at areas where the budget can be cut," Phillips said. "Mostly now, we’re not hiring."

The general said post officials are mindful of how cuts will affect soldiers and their families, and surrounding communities.

Milton emphasized Army Family Covenant programs will not be affected by cuts to the installation’s operational budget.

-Read more in the Brya County News.

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