Minnesota Zoo to stay open

Posted at 8:52 AM on July 4, 2011 by Catharine Richert (0 Comments)

In case you missed it, Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin this weekend ruled that the Minnesota Zoo can remain open during the shutdown because it has its own revenue.

Canterbury Park wasn't so lucky.

Rupa Shenoy's got the story:

St. Paul, Minn. -- Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin Saturday ruled that the Minnesota Zoo can reopen during the state government shutdown.

The Minnesota Zoo say reopened today at 9 a.m.

"We're recalling the staff that were not deemed core essential staff for the baseline operations for the zoo," said Lee Ehmke, the Minnesota Zoo's director.

Gearin initially closed the zoo since she deemed it to not be an essential service that must continue during the shutdown.

At an appeals hearing Saturday, Gearin authorized the zoo to reopen, based on the fact that it operates on its own earned revenue. Zoo officials had argued closing the zoo could cause long-term financial harm.

On the same day, Gearin denied Canterbury Park's appeal to stay open during the shutdown.

The horse track's spokesman Jeff Maday said the track's leadership is meeting with lawyers to plan another appeal.

"Our next move would be to seek an expedited appeals process and try to get this turned around," Gerain said. "Obviously the thing that would solve everything would be if a state budget solution were to happen and the legislature and the governor could get together."

Maday said last year Canterbury Park's revenue over the July 4th weekend was $1.3 million, and the track stands to lose $1 million for every week the track is closed.


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