An article in the RepublicanHerald this week reported that Tobyhanna Army Depot could have its budget cut by more than one-third, or more than $300 million in cuts, if automatic spending reductions happen in March. It is part of $500 billion to be cut from defense spending over the next 10 years.
But in the article, Army spokesman Dove Schwartz said that the cuts to Tobyhanna are more imminent, "That will happen by the end of the fiscal year. That's not nine or 10 years down the road."
Tobyhanna is one of the area's largest employers with about 5,400 workers living in bother Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. It's the military's primary facility for repair and maintenance of communications and electronics equipment. The depot's annual operating budget is about $905 million, so the automatic cut would mean about a 34 percent reduction in funding. It could mean a loss of 1,570 jobs.
President of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Austin Burke, said, "This is a matter of great concern. Tobyhanna is such an important economic engine for all of Northeastern Pennsylvania."
The cuts could take place unless Congress acts to prevent it.
Such massive cuts to a federal operation such at Tobyhanna Art Depot can create a sense of uncertainty for those of us in the private sector. We'll watch to see if Congress is able to prevent the cuts.