City officials say state budget plan lacks support of military

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM.

Havelock commissioners expressed extreme dissatisfaction with Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget, citing what was called a "goose egg" for support of the military.

Commissioner George Liner said McCrory’s budget cuts money to the Clean Water Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, both of which have been used recently by the city.

The Clean Water Trust Fund and recreation fund helped secure property near Carolina Pines for a new city recreation park, which will prevent development of property that could encroach upon Cherry Point. Civilian encroachment of military bases has been often cited as a concern during Base Realignment and Closure discussions.

"That’s going to be a big hit for us because the Clean Water Fund money helps us here for the grants for the property that we’re buying up around the air field to assist Cherry Point," Liner said.

He also said that the state budget proposal has no money to support any lobbying efforts in the face of a possible BRAC.

"If you look at that budget, there’s no military assistance money for the next two years for the upcoming BRAC," he said. "We’re the most military friendly state in the union, but we can’t get any help from the state to protect the bases. I understand that we’re tight on money. The state is hurting, but if we lose one or more or any of these bases within Eastern North Carolina, it’s going to be a lot more than $500,000 (in losses)."

Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders said failing to help protect the state’s second largest industry doesn’t make sense.

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