Lemon Grove residents will soon have another six hours of available services at city hall, as the council has approved ending its furlough program after four years.
The city has managed to save approximately $327,000 in personnel costs over the time period, according to City Manager Graham Mitchell, who called the move a "crucial strategy that helped the city balance its budget during difficult economic times."
When the furloughs were implemented four years ago, city hall closed its doors every Friday. Before that, it was open every other Friday, with office hours from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
At Tuesday night's city council meeting, the elected discussed two options when they decided to lift the furlough program: return to the previous operating schedule of being open every other Friday, or extend operating hours by 1.5 hours per day and remain closed every Friday.
The council went with the latter option.
"The City Council determined that being closed every Friday would allow City Hall to be open for longer hours (1 hour earlier in the morning and 30 minutes longer in the evening) to better serve the public," Mitchell said in a Wednesday afternoon announcement.
Beginning on January 2, 2013, Lemon Grove City Hall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.