(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) – State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) said today he was very grateful for Governor Bill Haslam’s assistance in getting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened. Overbey sent an urgent request to Governor Bill Haslam on Friday asking him for state assistance in reopening the park. He said that assistance, along with the work of Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell and Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, was critical in getting the park reopened.
Overbey represents Blount and Sevier Counties, which depend upon tourism as a large part of their economy. On Tuesday, Governor Haslam announced an agreement to reopen the park for five days with assistance from the state of Tennessee and Blount and Sevier Counties, along with help from North Carolina. Overbey said that he hoped the new signs of a resolution to the impasse in Washington would bring about a permanent solution in the next few days.
“In the meantime, this is a tremendous relief,” said Senator Overbey. “I appreciate Governor Haslam and his staff, along with that of Mayor Mitchell and Mayor Waters for their leadership in helping to lessen the impact the national government shutdown has on our local economy until a federal resolution is reached.”
“We are very fortunate to live in and serve the great state of Tennessee,” Overbey continued. “Our communities depend upon our tourism industry as a great part of our economy. The agreement reopening the park shows outstanding service and leadership and I appreciate all who helped to make this happen.”