Government shutdown closes Lake Georgetown


by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 4 at 6:40 PM

GEORGETOWN, Texas -- As the government shutdown continues, more of its effects are starting to be seen in Central Texas. Lake Georgetown, one of the area's favorite spots for fishing, boating, camping and hiking, is now closed.

It doesn't matter if you drive up or dial up on the phone or online, the message is the same. "Due to the federal government shutdown the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regional office is closed," said the voice on the recorded message when the Lake Georgetown phone number was called.

The government shutdown has forced a lockdown at Lake Georgetown, which is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"I just tell them to read the sign, and the sign says it all," said Gary Schultz, who has served as a contracted gate keeper for four years.  

Schultz says the park's closing is difficult for everyone.

"People are used to doing what they want to do," he said. "Anytime you're told as an American you can't do what you usually do, you get a little upset."

Chris Whitmore is one of them. Health issues have made him a regular at the lake to walk the trails.

"I have a year pass, so I should be able to enjoy the park," said Whitmore. "I don't agree with it. It's something that's politics. Unfortunately it trickles down to everyone else underneath sometimes."

Other reminders of the park closure -- boats that should be on the water remain on the road on their trailers. Several cars just outside the gate entrance indicate some are still finding a way to enjoy the park despite the official closed for business signs.  

"We come out here everyday," said Gina Desanto, who brought her four dogs. "My girlfriends and I trail run, so we've had to sneak in the back way."

Desanto is hoping the government shutdown ends soon so the gates at Lake Georgetown will swing open again.

"I know the people that work here, and that's their joy is to let people come onto the park," said Desanto. "It's kind of what their livelihood is, so yeah, it's pretty of sad."

Go here for more information on Lake Georgetown.

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