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City of Duncan weighs whether to keep four-day work week

Duncan_Only five months ago, most Duncan city employees reduced their work week to four days.  However, on Tuesday night, the city council will consider a proposal to change it back.  City officials say their employees love the shorter work week, and it's saving the city money, but the council will debate whether it's benefitting the citizens of Duncan to have the offices closed on Friday.

One council member said he had received several complaints about the shortened work week, and some city customers 7News talked to confirmed those complaints, although they did not wish to be on camera.  They said the four-day work week is a hassle because they no longer can pay their utility bills on Friday - which, for many, is more convenient.

Duncan Mayor Gene Brown says the slight inconvenience has taken a back seat to the city's big savings.  "When we first thought of it, the city manager was looking for ways to cut costs - at the time gas was almost four dollars a gallon," he said.  City Finance Director Gerald Morris says the savings haven't stopped there.  "We actually have cut down on our overtime, and our sick time is cut down also - so that's been a benefit too," he said.

Brown says the shortened work week also is beneficial since it has extended daily hours.  Rather than work an eight-hour day, city employees (except those in the library)  work a ten-hour day.  "What that does is give people an opportunity:  they can pay their bills on the way to work, have time in the afternoon when they get off from work." 

When the City of Duncan first shortened its work week for the trial period, customers expressed concern that utilities may get cut off on a Friday - a day many city employees now have off.  However, Morris says it isn't an issue.  "We don't have any due dates on Fridays so it doesn't affect anyone's due date," he said.  "We don't have any disconnects other than the middle of the week."

The city's current schedule is on a trial basis, and Duncan will send out surveys - along with utility bills - to ask for customer feedback on the change.  Even though city offices are closed on Fridays, customers still can reach certain departments in the event of an emergency.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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