If federal legislators can't come to terms and the budget "sequestration" does occur, there will be effects in Portage County including to health, education and military training.
The head of the local Head Start early education program said they are being told by state directors to expect an immediate hit.
"We are anticipating an 8 percent cut, about $240,000," said Suzanne Livengood, executive director of Portage Learning Centers, which operates Head Start programs in the county.
The program serves 290 Head Start students in its five preschool centers and another 84 Early Head Start students up to age 2. Livengood said the cuts would mean serving up to 40 fewer students.
"Transportation may be affected as well. We do not want to do that, being a rural community," Livengood said. Each center has a bus to pick up students, she said.
There are centers in Waterloo Elementary School in Atwater and in Central School in Kent. The program has its own buildings in Streetsboro and Ravenna, and three classrooms for Early Head Start at the Happy Day School in Ravenna Township.
Livengood said they are working on a plan to accommodate the cuts.
"We will look at community needs. There's a need in every communty -- that's the problem. We don't want to cut services to any area, but it looks like what they are forcing us to do," she said.
Lt. Col. Edward Meade, garrison commander at Camp Ravenna Training Center, said he expects to feel the effects of federal employee furloughs.
He estimated it will amount to about 22 days of furlough without pay, which will impact scheduling through the end of the year, Meade said.
Meade said the center already took a 12 percent cut to its maintenance budget in the Defense Department budget cuts approved last year.
No scheduled training has been canceled at the center which occupies most of the former Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant east of Ravenna, Meade said. A graph by the Department of Defense showing a state-by-state impact on the military shows a $700,000 impact in Ravenna.
DuWayne Porter, head of the Portage County Health Department, said he expects some of the grants the department depends on could be delayed.
"We're not sure exactly what to expect. Like everybody else, we're going to have to wait and see," Porter said.
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