Stopping sequestration on Fort Benning is hot topic at City Council

Stopping sequestration on Fort Benning is hot topic at City Council

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The negative impact of sequestration was the first and one of the main items on Tuesday's city council agenda in Columbus.

Gary Jones with the Chamber of Commerce has one clear message and that is to stop sequestration, emphasizing the size of the military has nothing to do with strategy but all about money.

The U.S. Army announced that by 2018 it will down size by 40,000 troops, including 3,400 at Fort Benning.

"You're losing your Sunday school teachers, your losing your soccer coaches, you're losing the volunteers that clean out the Chattahoochee, you're losing the very fabric of this region because Fort Benning is not an entity, Fort Benning is within the fabric of this region itself. They are part of this family and we are part of their family at this point," Jones said.

The Chamber of Commerce predicts the impact of the latest Army cuts to the local economy will be two to three million dollars.

"As of October 1 of this year if sequestration is not stopped the department of defense will receive an additional $500 billion cut. The 120,000 we've seen our army draw down from is a result of a $487 billion cut. So one can only fathom what the total impact is if the defense department is cut another $500 billion," Jones said.

Jones says the one thing we can stop and that is sequestration.  He wants everyone to get involved by going to to sign a sequestration petition. He is asking for 25,000 signatures by the end of summer to present to congress.

"Will that 25,000 names stop sequestration, I don't know if it will or not, but I will tell you this if you don't do it, I can ensure you sequestration will go into effect," Jones said.

Right now there are less than 2,000 signatures on that petition.

Click here to view a slideshow with more information about sequestration.

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