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Looming Federal Government Shutdown Could Close Cold Water Fountains In Hot Springs

The federal government is getting closer to it’s first shutdown in 17 years.

If lawmakers don’t reach a spending deal by midnight Monday, thousands of federal employees and programs could be impacted.

Here in Arkansas that hit could be devastating.

State employees received a memo about possible furloughs if the government shuts down.

National Parks will be some of the first agencies to close including Hot Springs National Park in central Arkansas.

Forty of the 46 park staff will be furloughed on Tuesday. The remaining six will continue with park upkeep and safety until further notice. But one of the major impacts of a park closure will be on local residents who utilize public coldwater fountains, which will also be shut down on Tuesday. “It’s really sad that people cannot come get healthy drinking water,” says Billy Lain. “I use the water for drinking, cooking, and for my tea and coffee.”

Thousands of residents and visitors use public coldwater fountains including some of the residents in rural areas who don’t have tap water at their homes.

Park Superintendent Josie Fernandez says the warm water fountains will not be shut off to preserve the park’s underground piping system but the visitor’s center and mountain tower will be closed in addition to the cold water fountains.

2 Responses to Looming Federal Government Shutdown Could Close Cold Water Fountains In Hot Springs

  1. JC Reply

    October 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    It’s better than letting the government spend another trillion on non-essentials like the tower so folks can look at hills, trees and some of our city. Well, there’s other nice things like getting your photo taken next to the Statue of Liberty. That’s worth a billion, right? Not to me. Stand up in a boat with that in the background for a cheap next best. Those springs? Be sure to sniff the outlets for signs of unsanitary vandalism the night before. We’ll save millions to have folks use certified sanitary tap water a few weeks. Won’t hurt em. Up to a limit you are welcome to my faucet for free, and I’ll bet it’s cleaner water. The campgrounds? How many are basically permanent residences for families that use the same camper on the same spot for decades, registering under different names until winter closure? Virtually all the best sites with lake frontage that are in the reservation system, plus the non-reservable sites controlled by travel clubs.

    It’s a grand thing to shut government down a while, preferably once a year for a month or more at a time. We save far more when Congress adjourns.

  2. Trey Bledtapp Reply

    October 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    JC: Is it hard to be a sociopath?

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