Sequestration Hits Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge

Home Brooklyn Life Sequestration Hits Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge

Fort Hamilton at Bay Ridge

Hundreds of Fort Hamilton military employees may be forced to take one-month furloughs because of federal budget cuts that will also undermine Superstorm Sandy repairs.

The nearly 400 U.S. Army civilian workers at the Bay Ridge base will have to take 22 unpaid furlough days from a potential start date in late April to September, said Army spokeswoman Alison Kohler.

The loss of pay is a result of $47 billion in cuts the U.S. Department of Defense must make before Sept. 30, according to the Pentagon’s estimates.

Renovation and maintenance projects will be slowed or stopped because of the cuts to funding this year, said Donald Bradshaw who oversees Fort Hamilton’s staff.

Base officials had asked for $10 million for renovation projects, some of damage from Superstorm Sandy.

But Fort Hamilton will receive only $3.5 million, officials said.

“We’re primarily focusing on the things that are health, life and safety related, such as roof and road repairs,” said Bradshaw. “I’ll probably have some potholes that are not going to get repaired.”

The furloughs will affect Kohler, 32, who will lose $7000 from her paycheck – about 20 percent of what she makes in five months.

“This is really the first time in our marriage that we’ve had to really buckle down and look at where we needed to cut costs and save money,” said Kohler, who plans to take on a part time job.

“For a lot of people it’s a roller coaster of emotions. We are still very thankful to have a job.”

Bradshaw said the military support organization is looking at three-day weekends – Friday through Sunday – to save money on utilities. Most of the employees will lose 20 percent of their pay through the end of September.

“Some folks are taking it in stride,” said Bradshaw. “Some folks have a lot of angst; some folks are angry, but it is one of those things where they are all great Americans and they’ll do what they need to do.”

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