Four-day city halls, in defense of ice cream, and a less-grand Rutgers renovation

Posted by Paul Cox/The Star-Ledger July 10, 2008 5:05AM

With fuel and energy prices rising and state aid falling, municipalities around New Jersey are finding more ways to pinch pennies, including four-day work weeks for public employees.

Shutting down nonessential government services for one day a week, the theory goes, would reduce heating and cooling bills for the city, along with commuting costs for workers, who would get three-day weekends, squeezing 40 hours into four days. The move would not include emergency personnel.

The goal is to save taxpayers money without drastically reducing services, officials said.

For Cindy Rau-Hatton, mayor of Gloucester Township in Camden County, switching to a Monday to Thursday schedule means saving about $30,000 a year in energy, fuel and water bills.

"It's trying to do more with less by maximizing our resources," she said of the new schedule, which took effect June 30.
--Alexi Friedman/The Star-Ledger

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