BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- More than 20 thousand seniors each year across Eastern Maine, depend on services provided by Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Butthe agency says it may not be able to offer as many services and reach as many people due to those federal spending cuts known as sequestration.
Eastern Area Agency on Aging provides assistance for the elderly in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Washington counties. The agency provides about 20 Programs including everything from nutrition, home visits and help with medicare. Most of the programsaree beingaffected by the automatic government spending cuts.
Noelle Merrill Executive Director says in these times where demand is up these cuts to the already flat funded budget will be brutal. This will be tough on clients and staff. Merrill says, "Every full time person is seeing a cut down to 4 days a week. It's the only way I can make it work. 55% of our budget is personnel. The budget other line items are things like food and travel and we are cutting those."
The Agency will start closing its Bangor office on Fridays beginning April 5th. The Automatic Spending Cuts are known as sequestration and account for about 2 percent of the total federal budget. Supporters of those cuts point out that even with those cuts in place the Federal Government is still spending more money each year than it is taking in.