MADISON, Ala.(WHNT)-Massive federal budget cuts that could put a hit on north Alabama's economy are set to take effect on Friday, with several local cities already preparing for the reality of sequestration.
The city of Madison is no exception to the list of north Alabama towns that could feel the sequestration strain. Alabama's fastest-growing city is heavily connected to defense dollars that threaten to dry up from pending furloughs and job losses in the region's vast defense sector. But Madison Mayor Troy Trulock says his city is well prepared for the possibility of decreased revenue from the big cuts, with sequestration already factored into this year's current operating budget.
"We planned to have a very lean budget," said Mayor Trulock, who addressed the sequestration possibility at Monday night's city council meeting. "I actually expected sequestration to happen in January, so we planned for it, we reduced our budget to prepare our city and our community for the impact of sequestration...We reduced our budget by about three to four percent just to make sure we were prepared."
Mayor Trulock said further adjustments to Madison's budget are likely if sequestration lives up to projected forecasts from the Pentagon and White House. The studies predict that Alabama would suffer a $1.9 billion overall economic loss if all of the massive federal budget cuts go through.
"We have a lean team actually in the city right now that is looking inside our departments and between our departments to figure out if there's better ways where we can improve our efficiency and tax savings revenue...We have a proud community, we'll come out of this one day, but it may be tough for the next year or two."
Mayor Trulock also said the city of Madison is actively recruiting several non-defense based businesses in light of sequestration. There's no specifics yet on what those businesses may be, but Trulock said at least one of them is retail-based.