Fiscal budget cuts could impact local NOAA center

Fiscal budget cuts could impact local NOAA center

PIVERS ISLAND, CARTERET COUNTY - President Obama's 2015 fiscal budget proposes closing one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) department's science laboratory's and then consolidating another.

This could mean the NOAA facility in Carteret County could be affected.

The budget proposes spending $2 billion on the NOAA agency to improve technology resources-- but at the expense of a closing a research laboratory, and then downsizing of another.

In a statement from North Carolina United States Congressmen Walter B. Jones, he says: ""I am seriously troubled by the fact that in his most recent budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed closing a research lab in Eastern North Carolina while continuing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure projects in Afghanistan."

James Newman Willis III, a former NOAA employee at the local center, says hopes the facility doesn't close. Willis retired from NOAA in 1961. He says he supports the research the facility does and feels the center means a great deal to the community.

"I hope it doesn't happen, I don't support closing the facility," Willis said. "It means old times you might say, when I come here it feels like home, I worked here so long."

No final decisions have been made, as the budget is only in its proposed stages. More specific information on this issue is expected to be released in the coming days.

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