Sequestration hits San Antonio airports, grant-funded programs

Print
Email
|

by Dillon Collier / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @dilloncollier

kens5.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 7:43 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- San Antonio's busiest airports will feel the sting of national budget cuts, according to the city's aviation and budget directors.

More than 90 percent of San Antonio's federal grants will also be impacted if the sequester lasts the next several weeks.

"Right now we're cautious. We're hopeful the federal government agencies we deal with will manage the impact as much as possible," said Aviation Director Frank Miller.

The control tower at Stinson Municipal Airport will close in early April.

Stinson is one of more than 170 airports in the United States set to lose its air traffic controller contract with the FAA.

Furlough notices for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol employees are expected to go out Thursday.

Air traffic controllers at San Antonio International Airport will be furloughed once every 14 days.

A high-ranking TSA official confirmed to KENS 5 Wednesday all overtime has been cut by the agency, except in emergencies.

Miller said the federal cutbacks will not impact safety but will add to wait times.

"It'll be a challenge, and we're hoping the sequestration doesn't go too long," said Miller.

San Antonio currently receives around $153 million in federal grants per year.

More than $140 million of the grants have been targeted for cutbacks.

"Its something that is large that we would have to bring some recommendations to the council," said budget director Maria Villagomez.

Only $1.7 million will need to be cut this year.

But for fiscal year 2014, the city funding will be reduced between seven and eleven million dollars.

New enrollment in the city's child care development programs was frozen Friday.

San Antonio's Head Start program cut see a decrease in funding of more than four million dollars next year.

Several health grants would also be reduced.

Print
Email
|