Saratoga National Historical Park prepares for shut down

Posted at: 09/30/2013 5:53 PM
Updated at: 09/30/2013 8:43 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

STILLWATER - People come from all over the world to learn of Saratoga's place in history as the turning point of the American Revolution.

Tom and Cindy Gibbs from Virginia were enjoying Saratoga National Historical Park Monday, aware that they could be among the last visitors here for a while as they pulled in on their way to Fort Ticonderoga.

"And we thought we'd stop in here, and also realizing that it might be the last day for a while, we decided we will see it now," said Tom.

Saratoga National has been preparing for weeks. Notifying school groups and other visitors that they may have to put off their plans.

Monday, the park told its employees who is needed in the event of a shutdown and who isn't.

"There's probably going to be about 28 employees that will be furloughed as a result of this action," said Park Superintendent Joe Finan. Finan says those employees who stay on staff during a shut down are law enforcement, responsible for securing the four-square mile park.

Finan is among those who will be furloughed if neither side surrenders before midnight. He's hoping for an end to this Washington battle, before it's time to commemorate end of the Battles of Saratoga next month.

"So we'll wait and see what happens. We hope that our friends in Congress and the President reach a compromise," Finan said.

As for Tom and Cindy Gibbs, they're also hoping cooler heads will prevail and elected leaders in Washington will think more about the people they represent.

"This country is a big business and they're not treating it as a business and realizing that people's lives are affected by all this, greatly," said Cindy.

If the shutdown happens, Saratoga National hopes it's a short one. They have scheduled an event on October 5th to welcome back an original cannon used in the Battles of Saratoga.