Central Texas College took in less revenue from federal grants and contracts in January 2013 than it did for the same time period the previous year, according to college officials.

At a regular meeting of the college’s board of trustees Thursday, CTC comptroller Bob Liberty said the college received about $3 million less in January 2013 from grants and contracts from the federal government.

“That’s really what’s causing our bottom line to be smaller,” Liberty said during a presentation of the college’s interim financial report to the board Thursday afternoon.

In addition to a $1 million cut to federal Pell grant money, a portion of the decrease also was due, in part, to a reduction in quantities ordered on contracts with various branches of the military and the Defense Department.

Currently CTC provides educational services in a number of locations, including on Navy ships and military installations around the world in Europe and South Asia.

“We still have the contracts, but the orders (for services) are going down as the belts tighten,” Liberty said.

Liberty attributed some of that belt tightening to worries about the more than $46 billion in automatic cuts to the nation’s defense budget set to take place March 1 if federal lawmakers fail to take action.

The decreased orders for services on the college’s contracts could be a sign of the military bracing for the impact of those cuts, he said.

The specter of those automatic cuts, also referred to as sequestration, isn’t just hanging over CTC, but nearly every entity with a connection to the military, including Fort Hood itself.

Fort Hood is bracing for the cuts with civilian hiring freezes, temporary budget cuts and cessation of nonessential training. If sequestration is implemented, it would likely mean furloughs for thousands of civilian employees and deep cuts for the installation.

“If you live in Killeen, federal dollars are important,” Liberty said. “It impacts everyone.”

Despite the decrease, Liberty said the college’s revenue from tuition and fees was up slightly from January 2012, and indicated that he felt confident in the college’s overall fiscal performance.

“I think we are going to have another good year,” he said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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