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Federal fund cuts are coming for Abilene agencies and programs

By Michelle Frizalone, mfrizalone@ktxs.com
Published On: Mar 01 2013 07:48:57 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

The Abilene Independent School District, the City of Abilene, Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene Regional Airport and many others will lose federal funding.

Agencies and programs will have to look over their budgets to see what they can afford without money from the government.

Abilene Independent School District Communications Dir. Phil Ashby said if the automatic federal spending cuts were to happen some crucial programs could be on the chopping block.

"It's really a question mark for us and it's difficult to plan," Ashby said. "It really impacts our neediest children everything from Special Ed to our lower socioeconomic students to homeless children."

Ashby also said it would cut 5 percent of their total operating funds, which would be about $200,000.
 
Dyess Air Force Base will also see a change. They said an estimated 389 civilian employees could be furloughed if sequestration is implemented. That's about $2.1 million in lost wages.    

Another agency that could be hit especially hard is the Federal Aviation Administration.

Dyess said the numbers are estimates and they don't know who would be exempt from furloughs and who would not.

The Abilene Regional Airport wouldn't close, but the airport control tower and controllers could have their hours cut back.

In the current budget, the city of Abilene received about $12 million in federal assistance for their grant programs.

Some of the programs could be affected depending on the new grant cycle.