PHOENIX — State officials are waiting for more than $1 million to come back to the treasury now that the U.S. government is running again.
The budget deal signed by the president late Wednesday means that state and local funds were needed to operate Grand Canyon National Park for only five days. At $93,000 a day — or $465,000.
But the state wired enough to Washington to cover 16 days of park operations. The contract Gov. Jan Brewer signed with the Park Service requires the federal agency to refund anything not used, or a bit more than $1.02 million.
The state is not going to keep it all. Some will be shared with Tusayan, which kicked in $426,500, split between the town and business donations.
The state’s share of the refund goes back into the tourism promotion fund, which Brewer tapped.
Brewer is still hoping to get back the original $465,000 the state and Tusayan already paid, arguing that operation of the park was always a federal responsibility. That, however, would require an act of Congress. So far there has been no action on a proposal to appropriate those funds.