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CEO Tells Feds Proposed Budget Cuts Could Hurt DeKalb County | Community Spirit

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CEO Tells Feds Proposed Budget Cuts Could Hurt DeKalb County

EMORY – (submitted by DeKalb County Government) CEO Burrell Ellis joined fellow county chief executives in Washington this weekend to oppose $60 billion in proposed budget cuts scheduled for a vote by the U. S. House this week. If implemented, these cuts would cost the county more than $10 million this year.

“Congress is considering $60 billion in cuts, which could mean an additional 700,000 jobs lost,” said CEO Ellis. “DeKalb County stands to lose $9.9 million in 2011, alone.”

Of the $60 billion in proposed cuts, a 25% reduction in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that is being proposed would reduce the fund by over a billion dollars. This would mean curtailing, delaying, or cancelling the following significant projects in DeKalb County, Georgia:

1.       Fire Station #3 Construction project in the Avondale area of DeKalb County;

2.       Elaine Clarke Special Needs Center Renovation in Chamblee, Georgia;

3.       Tobie Grant  Recreation Center Construction in Scottsdale, Georgia;

4.       Inordinate pressure on HUD Section 108 Loan Repayments scheduled to be paid from CDBG Funds;

5.       HUD Section 108 Loan funds to help construct three new senior centers in DeKalb. These centers are currently in the architectural and engineering phase.

While in Washington, CEO Ellis discussed with several federal officials that the county stands to lose big in Homeland Security. President Obama had originally planned to cut $600 million in the COPS grant program; $256 million in the State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Account, and $2.3 million in juvenile justice. Congress is asking for larger cuts.

CEO Ellis had discussions with David Agnew of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he discussed the federal budget and its impact on local communities; Jarrod Bernstein from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and the  Office of Senator Saxby Chambliss.

During his visit, CEO Ellis was elected 2nd Vice President of County Executives of America (CEA). CEA represents nearly 700 counties in 45 states that operate under a “county executive” government structure, and works directly with the principal decision-makers in all areas of the federal government to ensure the concerns of county residents are addressed at the national level.

“I am honored to have been elected 2nd Vice President of CEA,” said CEO Ellis. “County government is the entity most responsible for delivering essential services directly to citizens; it is imperative that we have a seat at the table and a strong voice when decisions are being made in Washington.”