Tourists who once meandered Mission Reach will experience a slightly different version of San Antonio’s Spanish-colonial Missions if they choose to visit on Monday, in the midst of a federal government shutdown.
The closure of the federal government means the Department of the Interior, and with it basic services at parks in the National Park Service, will operate at reduced capacity.
“While parks may still be accessible to visitors, parks may not use the presence of visitors in the park to justify higher staffing numbers than approved during previous shutdowns,” the Department of Interior contingency plan for January 2018 states.
“No National Park Service-provided visitor services” including restrooms, trash collection, facilities or road maintenance will be available for the duration of the government’s closure.
Other parts of San Antonio will also be impacted by the government shutdown.
The essential operations of Joint Base San Antonio are exempt from the shutdown, such as child care and after-school programs on the bases, flight operations at Kelly Field, and staffing of manned base gates and police patrols.
But some nonessential services will close. The Joint Base expects delays in security-related administrative actions. The base will also cancel youth programs outside of Child Development Center child care, family child care, and before and after school age care.
A number of base facilities including the Camp Bullis Rod-N-Gun recreation Center, Lackland Auto hobby shop, and Fort Sam Houston Equestrian Center Office will either close or operate on reduced hours. For a full list of base closures, click here.
Federal courts will remain open, with the trial of State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) scheduled to continue as planned.
Students with federal student aid should not be impacted by the government closure, according to the Department of Education. The federal offices will close, but the offices of Title IV processors will remain open. Most customer service contact centers will remain open.
According to a U.S. Department of Education contingency plan by Secretary Betsy DeVos, monies for Pell Grants and Direct student loans come through “mandatory and carryover appropriations.”
“Over 13 million students receive student aid, in the form of grants and loans, at more than 6,200 schools through these programs,” the guidance memo states. “As a result of the permanent and multi-year appropriations, Pell Grants and student loans could continue as normal for some time.”