New York, Dec 23 : New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday that the state will intervene in order to keep the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island open in face of a U.S. federal government shutdown.
"As we've done before when Washington's dysfunction has shut down the government, New York will step up and ensure the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island remain open for the world to look to for strength and hope during this tumultuous time," Cuomo said in a statement, adding that the above iconic sights will be open tomorrow, and remain open every day except Dec. 25, weather permitting.
During the federal shutdown, the state will fully fund National Park Service personnel and costs of operations at the cost of 65,000 U.S. dollars per day.The New York State did this in previous shutdowns in 2013 and this past January.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island have a major impact on the local economy. According to an annual report by the National Park Service, 4.5 million people visited Liberty Island in 2016, generating 263.2 million U.S. dollars in visitor spending per year and supporting 3,400 jobs, with an economic output of 364 million dollars.
Shutting down the park would deny access to an average of 12,000 daily visitors and impact more than 900 direct jobs at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, including with the National Park Service and Evelyn Hill, Inc, according to the statement.(XINHUA)