Lawmakers hope to reopen Smokies by the end of the week
KNOXVILLE, TN (WBIR) -- East Tennessee may soon get some good news about the still-closed Great Smoky Mountain National Park. State lawmakers hope to have the park reopened sometime this week, even if the partial government shutdown continues.
Tennessee Congressman Phil Roe co-sponsored a bipartisan bill which ensures any state that reopens a national park during the shutdown will be reimbursed by the federal government for those operating costs.
"It would be just a situation of replacing the money, where it comes from," said Representative Roe by phone Monday afternoon. "Whether it comes from the counties – Blount and Sevier have offered to do that – or, if Governor Haslam and the state do it."
The governor is very interested in that idea, and was already discussing the idea late last week. Those plans may have happened sooner, if not for bank hours and the holiday weekend.
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