The move, approved by the borough council on Monday, is expected to save up to $3,000 a month in air conditioning and heating-related expenses, says borough Administrator Stanley Sickels.
The effort is envisioned as a trial for the summer but may be continued if the savings materialize as expected without adversely affecting the delivery of services, Sickels says.
“If it works out, we’ll keep doing it,” he says.
Prompted by economic conditions, the austerity move will require full-time employees to work their 35-hour weeks, excluding lunch hours, in four days.
Sickels says he has directed heads of departments based at borough hall to ensure that their offices are open from 8a to 6p Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, the four-story building will be closed.
Excepted from the directive are the police department, whose headquarters is at borough hall; the public works department, based on Chestnut Street; the senior citizens’ center, on Shrewsbury Avenue; and the public library, on West Front Street.
The police and public works operations must operate five days a week because of the nature of their duties, Sickels says. The senior citizens’ facility serves a meal a day five times a week to residents who depend on it and use the facility to escape harsh weather, he adds. And the library has a mix of users that make it difficult to reduce the range of hours without adversely affecting service, he says.
Still, library Director Debbie Griffin-Sadel has been asked to take up the issue of a possible one-fifth reduction in operating hours with the autonomous library board, Sickels says.