Lady Liberty, Grand Canyon Open Using State Money
(CNN) As Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam explores reopening parks in Tennessee using state funds, other states are ahead of the game.
The Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore will reopen with the help of state funding.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that the state struck a deal with the National Park Service to fund Lady Liberty’s operations for the time being.
“Every day that Liberty Island is closed means we are losing visitors who would otherwise be spending at our local businesses,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Not to mention the employees who maintain the park and have been forced out of work.”
New York state’s tourism budget will fund the park and the state will pay $61,600 a day over the next several days.
According to the statement, a 2012 annual report from the National Park Service counted 3.7 million visitors to Liberty Island in 2011, generating nearly $200 million in economic activity and supporting more than 2,000 jobs.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer also negotiated an agreement with the federal government to reopen Grand Canyon National Park as well, also using state and local funds amid the ongoing federal government shutdown.
“I’m gratified the Obama administration agreed to reverse its policy and allow Arizona to reopen Grand Canyon, Arizona’s most treasured landmark and a crucial driver of revenue to the state,” said Brewer.
Under the agreement, the state will pay the National Park Service $651,000 — $93,000 per day — to reopen Grand Canyon and fully fund park operations for up to at least seven days using state and other monies.
The state will continue to assess next steps if the shutdown has not ended in seven days.