In an effort to save money and take advantage of the longer daylight hours, some county employees will be going to a four-day work week.

The Laurel County Fiscal Court approved a proposal to change the hours for employees in the Solid Waste and Road departments. The employees will be working four ten-hour days beginning June 1.

Third District Magistrate David Westerfield suggested the change be instituted on a four-month trial period, after which the Fiscal Court will evaluate how effective the change has been in saving the county money.

Fifth-district magistrate David Bruner told the court Somerset Community College had made a similar change.

"It works good," Bruner said. "You can actually get more done during the day."

Fourth District Magistrate Jeff Book pointed out if inclement weather keeps the employees from working, they lose the flexibility the five-day week affords in catching up on the work.

Despite the comment, Book voted with Bruner, Westerfield and Sixth District Magistrate Noah Baker to pass the motion 4 to 0. Magistrates Roy Crawford and Tom Baker were absent.

Sam Moore, office manager at the Road Department, said he wasn’t positive, but he thought they may start the work day at 7 a.m. and end it at 5 p.m.

“They haven’t really nailed down a work time yet,” he said.

He said hopefully the move will be cost effective because of the price of fuel on county equipment.

“This is going to help the county, as well as take a burden off the employees because they will not have to drive to work one day a week,” he added.

Jim Ed McDaniel, the Solid Waste coordinator, said no one had mentioned the four-day work week to him.

“This is all news to me.” he said. “No one has addressed the four-day work week with me yet.”

McDaniel said it doesn’t matter to him either way what the magistrates do concerning the matter. He said that “whatever they would like to do would be OK with us” in his department.

In other business, the Fiscal Court:

• Approved the annual agreement with the Administrative Office of the Courts to lease the space in the courthouse and annex buildings for

circuit court, district court, family court and the court clerk's office.

• Approved the re-appointment of Marcia Milby Ridings to the Library Board of Trustees.

• Approved a change to the mileage reimbursement rate from 48.5 cents per mile to 50.5 cents per mile.

Staff intern Elaine Mincey contributed to this story.

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