Redding cuts costs by shrinking workweek

REDDING - In an attempt to cut costs and manage skyrocketing energy prices, the town of Redding has decided to squeeze the workweek of municipal offices to four days during the summer.

First Selectwoman Natalie Ketchum (R- Redding) says when they built their budget last year, the town couldn't foresee spiking gas and energy costs.

Without one full day of air conditioning, electricity and office cleaning, the town says it can save a lot of money.

?We know we can save at least 10 percent on our air conditioning cost for these two months by closing our buildings on Fridays and keeping them closed on Saturdays and Sundays,? Ketchum says.

Town Hall, the community center, the highway department and other offices will compress their 40-hour workweeks into four days and will be closed on Fridays.

The Highway Department says it will also cut corners by not having to fill up its trucks as often.

Redding residents say they don't mind the Friday shutdown, and according to Ketchum, employees like it too.

?There's really a benefit to them as well as really to the environment,? she says. ?We're doing our part to reduce that carbon footprint and keep those cars off the road.?

The town will re-evaluate the plan at the end of the summer to see if it is worth continuing. Other towns and communities in the tri-state area are also considering the belt-tightening approach. Suffolk County, N.Y., just launched its own pilot program.

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