Local bases, parks clear out as government shutdown takes hold - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Local bases, parks clear out as government shutdown takes hold

LATHAM, N.Y. -- The Government shutdown placed thousands of New York National Guard troops on furlough Tuesday, and the base in Latham is no exception.

According to Eric Durr, a spokesman for the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, around 1,500 out of about 1,700 technicians and administrators statewide are now on furlough – a temporary unpaid leave. According to Durr, 400 civilian technicians from the Capital Region are now on furlough. 

"That's folks over at Stratton Air National Guard base. People who work here at our division of military and naval affairs headquarters in Latham. People working at 42nd infantry division headquarters in Troy. Up at the Queensbury Armory and the Armory over in scotia Glenville," said Durr.

He says all active duty National Guard troops will continue to work, but it will be up to Congress if the furloughed National Guard troops are paid after the shutdown ends.

As members of the National Guard prepped to shut down, workers at the Saratoga National Historical Park did the same, and the parks closure has left some travelers very disappointed.

"I came here to look at the Saratoga Battlefield site and do a tour of it," said visitor David Reynolds.

Reynolds traveled all the way from the United Kingdom for a historical tour of New England, only to be frustrated when he showed up to the Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater Tuesday to see a closed sign.

"It was quite disappointing to get here after traveling quite a long way to actually find it's closed,' he said.

The Saratoga National Historical Park is just one of the 401 national park sites that are now closed. Tuesday morning, 28 employees were handed letters informing them to go home as they are now on furlough. Only essential park personnel will remain on staff to patrol the park and check on its facilities.

"How do you stop running a country just because a government actually fails to find a budget. You still have to run the county. You can't just shut things down," Reynolds said.

All national park sites are closed, and those with campgrounds are giving campers 48 hours to leave.

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