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27 NH Co. Employees Lost Their Jobs

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New Hanover County Government Center
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By Catherine M. Welch, Peter Biello, Marina Giovannelli

Wilmington, NC – Twenty-seven New Hanover County employees cleaned out their desks Tuesday after finding out they lost their jobs due to a projected $12 million budget short fall.

New Hanover County manager Bruce Shell says he was hoping voluntary retirements, furloughs, and general belt tightening would prevent layoffs. But at the end of the day, 27 employees got news that they had lost their jobs.

Shell says the move will save $1.6 million.

"We tried to hold off as long as we could to do a reduction in force, but like so many places all over the country we're having to adjust to an economy that just hasn't sprung back."

Shell says he and county commissioners will discuss the possibility of raising the sales tax by a quarter of a cent. That move would have to be approved by voters first.

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