Cuts rock PC agency

A 29 percent cut in federal funding mandated by the Alabama Department of Human Resources have rocked a Phenix City family support agency.

Children and Family Connection of Russell County was notified of the cut in funding in a letter dated Aug. 10 from the state DHR's Office of Resource Management, citing "dwindling funds" as the reason.

Mattie Arrington, the executive director of the agency, said she didn't believe the letter when she read it.

"I read my mail first thing in the morning. I read the letter, put it back in the envelope and turned my chair around," she said. "It was a glass of cold water splashed in my face."

The agency, which receives about $210,000 annually, was given until Sept. 4 to make changes that likely will include laying off employees, cutting programs and limiting some programs to on-site visits.

"We serve the entirety of Russell County, that's 625 square miles. Phenix City is only 25 of those miles," said Arrington. "So right now, because I'm having to do a knee-jerk response to this, we're cutting hours, employees and limiting our services to those who are coming to us."