Jan 18, 2010 6:04 AM by Matt Stafford
Major cuts are coming to Fort Carson, and they could cause problems throughout Southern Colorado's struggling housing market.
El Paso County's largest employer is looking at some big cuts, about 20 million dollars of a 100 million dollar operations budget at Fort Carson. Many of those cuts to come from civilian jobs on base.
"As we look at the contract, the budget cuts as you know will affect individuals," says Col. Bob McLaughlin, garrison commander for Fort Carson.
These job loses could increase a statistic that's already at a level of concern, foreclosures.
"One way or another it has a ripple effect and hurts our economy and ends up resulting in more foreclosures," says Tom Mowle, Public Trustee for El Paso County. "News like this out of Fort Carson makes it more likely that 2010 will be worse than we hoped, and it's certainly not going to make things better."
Finalized cuts are expected in mid-Spring, many coming from the Army's Installation Management Command.
"He's going to work to the best of his ability to make sure we minimize the impact on people," explains Col. McLaughlin.
No matter how much planning and care is taken, any cuts can be tough.
"Less money is coming into El Paso County," explains Mowle. "Somewhere down the road, somebody's not going to be able to afford their house."
That's a road, Mowle says, that leads away from a solution. "It's not going to slow down until the jobs picture improves, until people start getting better jobs, earning better money and this whole thing starts to recover."
Based on what Mowle is seeing, we're waiting for the recovery to begin.
Decisions on these cuts won't come until mid-Spring.
Mowle says the effects of these foreclosures probably won't be seen until late in the year.