Cuts hit Clinton and Camanche

State and federal agencies have to do more with less because of budget cuts.

We’ve told you how the cuts are impacting local Arsenal employees in the Quad Cities, with workers forced to take a 20-percent pay cut.

But, Clinton, Iowa is also bracing for deep cuts to schools, workforce development and rental assistance programs.

Tough times are about to hit the rental assistance program in Clinton and Camanche, which serves more than 400 families a month.

Sequestration cuts could have a sizable impact on the Clinton Housing Authority, resulting in a reduction of the number of families helped.

“For every percentage cut in Clinton, we will see an impact on the size of our program,” said Deb Vath, Executive Director of the Clinton Housing Authority. “Like, one percent in funding would mean four families we would need to reduce from our program.”

$72,000 in federal funds could be lost next year for the Clinton School District, which has a disproportionately large number of students on free and reduced lunch.

60-percent of its only 90 students qualify.

“Having to deal with a loss in enrollment as well as dealing with the issue of losing money from the federal government becomes a double whammy for us,” said Deb Olson, the district’s Superintendent.

Olson blames the enrollment problem on a lack of jobs.

But, with the prospect of 100-plus new jobs coming to town with the addition of RAIL.ONE, Olson hopes it’ll make a difference.

“Hopefully that will offset a lot of the losses we’re dealing with here and just trying to deal with fewer resources and still provide the quality education that we’re known for,” she said.

But, for the housing authority, the picture looks a little bleaker.

600 families are already on the now-closed waitlist and the hope of getting it back open is diminished with fewer federal and state dollars.

“Every dollar makes a difference.”

Workforce development programs are also expected to take a hit with sequestration cuts along with rural housing assistance grants and Meals on Wheels.

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