More than 300 people who work at a local prison could lose their jobs.
Under the governor's new budget, Western Youth Institution in Morganton would close.
For more than 40 years, the Western Youth Institution has been home to thousands of youthful offenders between the ages of 13 and 21. But the design and age of the building has the state looking at closing the facility.
Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen doesn't want that to happen.
“We're over 10 percent unemployment -- steadily 10-11 percent,” Cohen said. “We can't take one more hit. We can't take the loss of another job.”
The state said by closing the facility, North Carolina would save $16.3 million. Right now, the cells don't have toilets, the elevators are outdated and in the winter time, plastic must be put over some of the windows to keep the cold air out.
But for restaurants and shops nearby, the loss of more jobs will hurt them.
“We get a lot of business from them coming to eat lunch and breakfast. So it is very disheartening,” said Tiffany Pearson with the Pilot Mountain Coffee Shop.
"Morganton is already suffering enough with the economy now,” said Betty Buff with the Salem Country Store.
Renovating the building nicknamed the "high rise" by local residents would be costly. The state estimates $29 million.
Some of the inmates would move next door to Foothills Correctional, and 55 people's jobs will move there, too.
Thomas Campbell lives nearby and doesn't want to see it go.
“I'm worried about the job losses,” he said. “We don't need that. There's nothing else to do in Burke County.”
The mayor said he and other city leaders plan on drafting a letter this week to the governor asking him to reconsider.