States will Receive Refund on Donated Park Funding

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened at 8:00 AM on Wednesday due to a collaborative effort between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. Both states donated revenues to a combined total of $375,500 to the US Department of the Interior to fund the operation of the park during the Federal Government shut down. The money donated would have funded the running of the park for five days. However, only one day of funding was needed due to Congress’s passage of a short term spending bill late Wednesday night. With federal funding reestablished, questions have been raised as to what would become of the additional four days of revenue that was contributed by the states. On Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory received word that both states would be getting a significant portion of those donations back. The Department of the Interior has not announced when those refunds could be expected.