|City imposes 3-hour weekly furloughs|
|Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY NANCY SPENCER
DELPHOS — Difficult times make for difficult decisions.
Mayor Mike Gallmeier and Safety Service Director Greg Berquist announced Tuesday that due to the economic and financial conditions of the city, operating hours for city departments will be reduced by three hours per week.
Along with that, city employees at the city building, in the maintenance department and at the water and wastewater treatment plants will be furloughed three hours each per week.
“We’ve made these plans to reduce our costs and now we have to put them in motion,” Gallmeier said. “It’s not a pleasant thing to do, reducing people’s hours and their paychecks, but we have no choice.”
Effective Monday, the office hours for the municipal building will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
Service (maintenance, wastewater and water) departments’ hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday.
“We know how the employees who work at the city building will be cutting three hours but the water and wastewater departments will take a day or two to figure out how they are going to do that,” Gallmeier said. “We make water and treat at the wastewater plant 24/7, so they will have to come up with a plan to move people around and still have someone at the plants when they are needed.”
The furloughs will keep approximately $15,500 in the city coffers for this year’s budget. The reduction in hours affects 27 city employees. Fire and rescue and police employees are not included in the furloughs at this time.
“We are looking at those departments and we will have to work with the unions to see what we can do,” Gallmeier added. “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause the citizens of Delphos and hope this condition is short lived.”
The city is trying to fill a $250,000 hole in this year’s budget and looking at more than $860,000 in red ink next year. The administration is looking at all departments for cost-savings measures.
On Aug. 5, council passed legislation to put a .25-percent income tax increase on the Nov. 5 General Election Ballot. If passed, the increase will generate approximately $400,000 a year.