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Gov’t Reopens, But Not All Agencies Completely Up & Running

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Though the federal government reopened from its partial shutdown Thursday, not all agencies were completely up and running.  In North Texas, only supervisors and administrators were on the job at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Many staffers are not government employees, so it’ll take another day before the doors can open.

Some would-be visitors figured the trek to the library might be a gamble.  Like Marilyn Pissocra of Akron, Ohio who said, “When he [Obama] announced last night the government was going back to work we decided it was worth a chance but.. anyway, we had a fun day.”

The Library’s director of public relations and marketing explained the dilemma.  “There are a lot of logistics that go into play into getting a presidential library open,” said John Orell.

Those ‘logistics’ include organizing extra security for visitors when the doors finally open. It takes a day for that—and more workers.  “Folks like our archivists and our museum staff, who work on putting the museum together and maintaining it, they’ll be coming in tomorrow,” Orell said.

There are similar issues at federal parks. Thursday wild turkeys were the only visitors at a park on Lewisville Lake. The US Army Corps of Engineers runs parks at eight North Texas reservoirs. But it has to recall private contractors and volunteers — who do mowing, cleanup, and other preparation work — before the public can come back in. It could be as late as Monday.

No waiting though for Willie Lane and some 1,200 EPA workers.  “Well, it’s great to be back at it, you know?” he told CBS 11 News.  Senior management greeted them as they returned to work this morning. Being in limbo for 16-days was an uneasy time for many of them.  “Well, it’s tough,” Lane said.  “There’s a lot of uncertainty to it, you’re not really sure what’s going to happen. There are a lot of folks that they’re the only breadwinner in the family.”

Randall Rush echoed Lane’s sentiments.  “The ‘limbo’ part was hard because you worry about finances and all, and we’re going through a refinancing of a mortgage so that was worrying me.”  Rush added, “I’m very happy because I got a lot of stuff done around the house but there’s still a lot to do here at work and I’m glad to be back with my co-workers. Helping out the environment.”

Employees at the Labor Department in Dallas returned to work as well.

As for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Friday is their big day: doors are scheduled to open at 9:00 a.m.

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