PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona will have to send more cash to the federal government by late Wednesday if Congress still hasn't passed a budget and the state wants the Grand Canyon National Park to remain open this weekend.
The state is paying $93,000 a day to keep the park open for seven days ending Friday. But under the agreement Gov. Jan Brewer struck with the federal government last Friday, the deal must be extended at least 48 hours before it expires if the canyon is to stay open.
That's because it takes two days to close the park, and the National Park Service can't continue operating without funding, according to the agreement.
A decision on keeping the park open using state and other resources will be made as the deadline approaches, Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said Monday. It will depend on available state, local and private funds and what's happening with budget negotiations in Washington.
The Grand Canyon is the only national park or monument open in Arizona. The rest remain closed until the federal government reopens.
The Grand Canyon closed for only the second time in nearly 100 years on Oct. 1, after Congress failed to pass a budget to fund government operations.
Businesses that rely on canyon visitors from around the globe collected funds to help pay for a reopening. Brewer was among several governors who asked the federal government to allow them to pay for park operations.
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