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Grand Canyon ongoing opening depends on state cash

Visitors to Mather Point on the South Rim watch as a storm breaks in the Grand Canyon in this February photo. (Photo by Michael Quinn/National Park Service)

Visitors to Mather Point on the South Rim watch as a storm breaks in the Grand Canyon in this February photo. (Photo by Michael Quinn/National Park Service)

Arizona will have to send more cash to the federal government by late Wednesday if Congress still hasn’t passed a budget and the state wants the Grand Canyon National Park to remain open this coming weekend.

The state is paying $93,000 a day to keep the park open for seven days ending Friday. The agreement Gov. Jan Brewer struck with the federal government last Friday must be extended at least 48 hours before it expires if the canyon is to stay open.

Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder says a decision will be made as the deadline approaches. It will depend on available state, local and private funds and what’s happening with budget negotiations in Washington.

The park closed Oct. 1 when Congress failed to pass a budget to fund government operations.

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