Furloughs at Letterkenny could have serious impact

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Letterkenny Army Depot is the largest employer in Franklin County. Under current proposals to furlough Department of Defense employees, every single worker there could be faced with a 20 percent pay cut.

Michael Ross of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation said that could have a significant impact on the local economy. He said workers at Letterkenny Army Depot generally earn higher than the county's average wage and have better benefits.

He said the impact of their pay cuts would likely trickle down to local restaurants and businesses.

“We are in an awkward position right now in that we are worried, but at the same time helpless because there is no time to prepare not knowing what we are trying to prepare for,” Ross said.

Although there are still many questions, it is possible the furloughs would be enacted as early as April.

Earlier in the week, Congressman Bill Shuster led a Pennsylvania delegation tour of Letterkenny and met with the LEAD command and civilians who are making preparations should the cuts go into effect. He said he would continue to take their concerns back to Washington.

In a statement, Shuster said: “It is my hope the President will listen to what we are hearing back at home and act as the Commander-in-Chief and lead. I firmly believe our brave men and women in uniform need our support in every way. We must continue to support our war fighters and their civilian service members who are working non-stop for our freedom and national security.”

Ross and others are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, saying the entire scenario is “frustrating.”

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