BLOOMFIELD — Want Fridays off? Bloomfield does.
At Monday's city council meeting, Teresa Brevik, the city's special projects manager, will propose Bloomfield move from a five-day workweek to a four-day one. If approved, city offices would be open for longer operating hours on Mondays through Thursdays and then be closed on Fridays.
"We'd save money — 10, maybe 15 percent — without utilities, city vehicles, things like that — running on Fridays," said City Manager David Fuqua on Thursday. "It's becoming a trend. The whole state of Utah does it."
A boost in employees' morale and citizens' ability to pay a bill in person would be other reasons for the change, Fuqua said.
"Right now, we're open 8 to 5, so if you want to conduct city business you have to take off work most likely to do that," he said. "This way, there's more flexibility for citizens and our employees.
Fuqua first presented the idea of four-day workweeks to council in 2010, but the measure did not pass.
Now, he argues if the councilors approve Fridays off, city employees would be happier and more productive.
He cited a looming oil and gas boom that will likely bring higher paying jobs in the oil field, a lure he said the city cannot afford to match. Instead, offering incentives like three-day weekends is one way to retain current employees.
Eight miles to the north of Bloomfield is San Juan County's seat, the city of Aztec, which has run on a four-day workweek since July 2010.
"The four-day workweek is an extremely effective plan for the City of Aztec," City Manager Josh Ray said in a text message on Friday. "Our employees are more efficient and effective in how we work. We have seen a reduction in lost time and in our utility expenses."
Like Fuqua, Ray cited the benefit to citizens who are able to conduct city business before or after work Monday through Thursday.
"The longer days also allow us more time on project sites and (decrease) mobilization times on multiple days," Ray said.
San Juan County last fall switched many of its employees to four-day workweeks. Among the departments that are now open for four, 10-hour days a week are the county's executive and assessor's offices and the legal, information technology, finance, purchasing and human resources departments.
The largest city in the county by geography and population, Farmington is open five days a week. But with more than 1,000 city employees, the majority enjoy some flexible scheduling.
"We're a full-service city," Farmington City Manager Rob Mayes said on Friday. "It's our feeling that our city needs to be available every weekday. If we were not open on a Friday, for example, that would mean someone couldn't get a building permit or a business license on that day, which would run counter to what we strive to do."
About 90 percent of Farmington's employees work creative schedules, part of the city's "win-win scenario," where flexibility for employees is met and citizens are able to conduct city business five days each week. Employees are rotated within a department on flexible schedules so each office is always staffed and city services are delivered every weekday, Mayes said.
"The city has a lot of employees on 4-10s, 9-9s and other flexible schedules," Mayes said. "It's a matter of a quality of life for employees while delivering services efficiently and effectively for citizens. The criteria is that it is done without creating added costs, like overtime pay or reducing services."
With about 125 employees. Bloomfield lacks Farmington's ability to deliver services and offer the majority of its employees flexible schedules.
"We're going to look at it. If it's not working out like we'd hoped, we'll go back," Fuqua said. "One thing people often complain about is having to take off work to come see us, so that's a compelling factor in this."
If you goWhat: Bloomfield City Council meeting
When: 6 p.m., Monday
Where: City Hall, 915 N. First St., Bloomfield
More info: Call City Clerk Jamie Thomas at 505-632-6304. Council meetings are held the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the council chambers in City Hall.