Glo. Twp. officials smart to save on energy costs June 5, 2008

Four-day week for municipal offices makes sense as a cost-cutting measure.

With energy prices spiking, the number of municipal employees down and the township set to lose $625,000 in municipal aid from the state, Gloucester Township officials are wise to switch to a four-day work week with municipal employees. Shutting down the municipal building, the public works department and half the recreation building on Fridays is expected to cut the township's utilities bill by about 15 percent, saving at least $35,000 a year, but perhaps much more, according to Mayor Cindy Rau-Hatton.

The township had previously had a Monday through Thursday schedule from 1981 until 1996. That schedule was also put in place as a means to save on energy costs.

It makes sense again. It is township taxpayers who foot the bill to keep the municipal building up and running. And taxpayers are already facing increased energy bills at home. They don't need to pay more in property taxes to cover increased energy costs at township buildings, especially because Friday is the slowest day of the week for business at the municipal building, the mayor said.

The new hours of operation at Gloucester Township's municipal offices are set to begin June 30. The hours of operation will be from 8 a.m. to 5:40 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The new schedule will not apply to police and emergency dispatchers and the senior drop-in center.

This is a smart plan to save money that other South Jersey municipalities should consider.