Long Lake - Long Lake town board members were surprised this week as they learned the town highway department had began a four-day, 10-hour shift work week without their approval.
"If this is being done without town board consent someone is in error," Long Lake Councilman Lou Plumley said.
According to Long Lake Highway Superintendent Bruce Jennings the four-day week allows for more efficient use of labor on town projects.
"We can get more work done in a 10-hour day," Jennings said. "I just wanted to get some of our chores done."
Jennings said the lengthened work day allows a crew to move equipment to and from a site while not cutting a huge chunk out out of a shift.
Hamilton County DPW practices a four-day schedule.
"I am not sure the town and the county can be compared apples to apples," Long Lake Supervisor Gregg Wallace said. "In highway crew job descriptions it says 'as assigned' - we could end up paying overtime wages on a Friday for unforeseen work."
According to New York State Town Law, any changes to town operating procedure must be ratified by the town board.
However, no such action was requested before the highway shift changes were implemented.
The town board chose to not move a measure to the floor that would have allowed for a highway department four-day work week. Instead, they chose to keep the five-day policy and require the highway department to conform to town law.
"We have decided that the 10-hour day is not to happen anymore," Wallace said. "Whatever is happening now shouldn't be and we are going to change it."
But for Jennings, the extra on-site time would be useful.
"I feel like I am running a DPW and not just a highway crew," he said. "We are always assisting other departments and it makes it hard for us to get our own work done."