The Pulaski County Commissioners aren’t quite ready to let the Highway Department switch to its summer schedule a few weeks early. Highway Department crews typically work four 10-hour days per week during the summer.
Highway Superintendent Gary Kruger asked the commissioners last week if he could extend that schedule from April to mid-October, rather than Memorial Day to Labor Day. “I never know if I don’t ask,” Kruger said. “I know we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’re short two employees.”
But Commissioner Mike McClure was concerned that there’s still a lot of darkness in April. “The school buses are out,” he said. “By the time you have the lights set up, the sun finally comes out. It’s a safety issue as much as a convenience issue. Every time you work in dark, you have bad luck.”
Commissioner Jerry Locke wasn’t sure the Highway Department would actually gain a whole lot by extending the summer schedule. “Gary, I’ve been getting a lot of complaints that your workers haven’t been out in a timely fashion of a morning, and then if we said, ‘Go to the 10-hour days,’ I’m afraid it might get worse instead of better,” Locke said.
Kruger pointed out that the policy handbook actually says that the summer hours are in effect from April to September, although Commissioner Mike McClure was in favor of officially changing it to Memorial Day to Labor Day.
But before taking any official action, Commissioner Kenny Becker suggested that Kruger see if his employees would be willing to work five 10-hour days during certain weeks in the summer, since there’s money available for overtime. It was noted that Highway Department crews didn’t have to work much overtime during the winter this year.