Post-Shutdown: Springfield Armory Re-opens, Farm Impacts Minimal

With the federal government shutdown resolved, furloughed workers and impacted industries are picking up the pieces, and national parks are opening back up. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site was among the closed landmarks. The Armory re-opened its doors to visitors Thursday.

James Woolsey is the historic site’s superintendent. He says he’s happy to return to work, but was greeted by plenty of missed emails and voicemails to wade through. Woolsey says he and his co-workers spent three days preparing for the shutdown, and will likely spend close to another week catching up. All told, he says that’s about a month lost to the closure.

“Normally we have lots of things going on. We have projects, we’re trying to do websites, school programs, and so basically, we’ve lost four weeks of doing the things I think people really care about,” says Woolsey.

Woolsey says several dozen people have visited the armory since it reopened Wednesday. He says he’s not sure how many visitors were turned away while the site was closed.

Farmers Spared the Worst

Meanwhile, advocates of various industries warned of doom and gloom as the shutdown began. But the impacts on farmers are not as dire as some predicted.

Richard Bonanno is head of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. He says some loans for farmers were delayed, but otherwise the shutdown did not have drastic consequences.

“Any time services are delayed or cut, people are certainly impacted,” says Bonanno. “But the reality was…in two and a half weeks, it wasn’t enough to make it a crisis.”

Bonanno says going into the shutdown, he was most concerned about the impacts on animal processing facilities who rely on USDA inspectors, but they stayed on the job. Bonnano says much of those inspectors’ pay comes from the facilities themselves, not the federal government. 

Photo via Flickr from Paul Cooper.