NY expects reimbursement for opening Statue of Liberty

A tourist's sunglasses reflect Lady Liberty as the A tourist's sunglasses reflect Lady Liberty as the ferry approaches Liberty Island earlier this past Sunday after New York State decided to pay the cost of opening the federal tourist attraction during the government shutdown. The state will be reimbursed, officials said. (Oct. 13, 2013) Photo Credit: EPA

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New York State expects to be reimbursed for the $492,800 it spent to reopen the Statue of Liberty during the recent shutdown of the federal government, a state official said Thursday.

Empire State Development, New York's primary business-aid agency, has sent its banking information to Washington to facilitate the reimbursement, said agency president Kenneth Adams.

Congress must first adopt the necessary legislation, which is expected to occur.

"This morning we emailed the routing numbers to U.S. Treasury for our bank accounts so that we can get our money back now that Congress has ended the federal shutdown," Adams told the Empire State board.

The Statue of Liberty was closed to the public on Oct. 1, when Congress and President Barack Obama failed to reach agreement on federal spending.

The closure stopped more than 10,000 people from visiting the monument each day, leading to revenue losses for ferries and small businesses in lower Manhattan that depend on tourism.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration reached an agreement with federal officials and reopened the statue on Oct. 12.

The state picked up the daily operating expense of $61,600, plus related costs.

Adams noted the cost represents "a fraction" of the economic activity generated by tourism tied to the Statute of Liberty, estimated to be $174 million per year.

About 2,200 people are employed directly and indirectly because of visitors to the statue and nearby Ellis Island.

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