Camp Lejeune announces reduction in services due to sequester

POSTED: 4:03 PM Jul 02 2013   UPDATED: 9:44 AM Jul 03 2013
camp lejeune
JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Camp Lejeune officials announced Tuesday that several buildings and services will be operating on reduced hours because of the sequestration.

The sequester, which went into effect on March 1, calls for an $85 million reduction in federal defense and domestic spending until October. This includes a $37 billion cut from the Defense Department's budget.

Because of the sequestration, most civilian employees will have to each take one day of unpaid leave each week from July 8 to Sept. 21, for a total of 11 furlough days.

To accommodate the reduction in workforce, Camp Lejeune officials announced the following schedule changes:

-Defense Commissary Agency: Closed on Mondays
-Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune: Pharmacy located at the Marine Corps Exchange closed Mondays
-Base Schools will be closed on the following dates: Sept. 3, 4, 9, 16 and 23.
-The Vehicle Registration Office at Bldg 60: Closed from July 8 to Sept. 30.  To accommodate this closure, the Visitor Center (Bldg 818, near the Main Gate) will be extending the hours of decal issuance/vehicle registration and check in/out to 8 a.m.  to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
-The ID Card Center: Closed at 4 p.m. on Mondays, vice 6 p.m.
-Traffic Court: Closed on Fridays starting July 12.
-Legal Assistance Immigration Services: Closed at noon on Wednesdays, vice 3 p.m.

NewsChannel 12 talked with civilian employees who are affected by the cutbacks.

"It’s going to hurt me quite a bit since I'm already tight as it is," said Jason Mathiowetz, a data center manager at Camp Lejeune.

But Mathiowetz said he has been saving his money ahead of time in preparation for the sequester.

"It's going to still hurt, just not as bad as it did when I first heard about it," he said.

Jacqueline Laney's husband is a Marine at Camp Lejeune. She said the cutbacks are also affecting Marines who live on base.

"They don't have the chow hall open for breakfast anymore. I have issues with that because my husband goes overseas and fights for freedom," said Laney.

The furloughs and schedule changes are not the only effects of the sequester on Camp Lejeune. In early May, the base announced it will not be having its July 4 fireworks display because of the budget cuts.

But Marine Corps Community Services still plans to offer free activities on July 4 to all active-duty personnel, retirees and their family members, said Nat Fahy, director of public affairs at Camp Lejeune, Activities include golf, bowling, skeet shooting, archery and free movies at the base theater.  In addition, many marina and beach recreational equipment rental fees will be waived that day.