Township Closes Offices 1 Day Per Week To Cut Costs

POSTED: 5:46 pm EDT June 3, 2008
UPDATED: 6:11 pm EDT June 3, 2008

Some government offices will shut down on Fridays to help offset soaring prices and the sagging economy.

Gloucester Township offices will be closed on Fridays.

The township said it's a victim of tough economic times just like everyone else.

"It's hard to survive day to day," Devon Loring, of Gloucester Township, said.

"I get nothing for my money anymore," Karen Coyle, of Glen Oaks, said.

Residents aren't the only ones trying to hold onto their dollars.

"Everything is getting out of control. I can't control energy costs. I can't control the price of gas," Gloucester Township Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton said.

Rau-Hatton said tough times have hit them, too.

So beginning June 30 the municipal building, half the recreational center and the Public Works Department will shut down on Fridays to offset the surging energy prices and a struggling economy.

"Some employees work Monday through Thursday, others work Tuesday through Friday, so there was always a shortage Monday and Friday," Rau-Hatton said. "By going to four days and 10 hours a day I have full crews."

Rau-Hatton said like many New Jersey townships they've seen cuts in state aid. The new four-day workweek will eliminate a dozen open jobs they can't afford to fill and give them a 15 to 20 percent savings in energy costs.

"I think it will be more efficient and we're trying to do more with less," Rau-Hatton said.

The downside for taxpayers is services like applying for various licenses, accessing public records or submitting registrations won't be available on Fridays.

"We work very hard for what we do get and a lot of our taxes get taken out for all different reasons and it doesn't seem like a lot of it is going back towards us," Kim Gonzales, of Blackwood, said.

Others said it's just another tale of tough times.

"Everybody's cutting. It's not just them, it's every business," Loring said.