Adams Selectmen consider four-day week for Town Hall to save money
ADAMS — In an effort to save "every nickel and dime that we can," Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco and the Board of Selectmen are considering closing Town Hall on Fridays.
Under the proposal, which the board could vote on as early next week, the business hours at Town Hall would change to 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"We'd have that one evening hour for folks who want to access town hall in the evening and be closed on Friday, which generally is always our slowest day," Mazzucco said.
The current business hours at town hall run Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although town hall would be closed on Fridays under the new proposal, the number of hours worked by town hall employees weekly would not change.
If the board were to approve the new plan at its next meeting, the town would likely implement the new schedule in March and test it for sixth months, tracking visitor volumes during the different hours.
"We can sit down at the end and say 'alright, is it working?" Mazzucco said.
The proposal would save "a few thousand dollars" in energy costs, according to Mazzucco.
Town Hall does see an uptick in residents on Fridays during tax season, so the town will make accommodations for that, according to the board.
The board had questioned whether or not it would be required to pay town hall employees overtime for working a shift greater than eight hours, but Mazzucco said there is no state law requiring such a policy.
The Board of Selectmen have previously discussed the proposal at one of its workshop meetings.
"It [is] a perception problem," said Selectman Joseph Nowak said. "When people in our community see [staff] just working four days and having a three-day weekend, that's something people can grab onto and run with it."
But from an economic viewpoint, Nowak said this plan would be a small way to save some money and would initially only run for a trial period.
"We need to look into the future and make some changes," Nowak said.
Several selectmen spoke to the benefit the lengthened hours on Thursday would provide to those who can't currently make it to Town Hall during normal business hours.
Selectman John Duval noted that many people in the community work out of town or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., "and if that's the schedule you work, there's no chance that you will be able to visit the town hall unless you have time off from work."
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