BLOUNTVILLE — Rising fuel prices will mean a shorter work week for the Sullivan County Highway Department beginning Tuesday.
Highway Commissioner Allan Pope announced the change last week.
“Starting the 13th of this month, the Highway Department will be going back on four, 10-hour days due to the rising cost of fuel,” Pope told members of the Sullivan County Commission’s Budget Committee.
“Just in fuel right now, per day, is running $2,541,” Pope said. “And it’s going to go up. Our last drop of diesel fuel was $2.67 per gallon ... and they gave us the old price. So we’re going back to the 10-hour days.”
He estimated the cost savings at $6,000 to $10,000 per day.
“You have to keep in mind, the Sullivan County Highway Department is about a $60 million construction company,” Pope said. “We cover a lot of area. Hopefully, this will save some money.”
Each day the department’s asphalt plant is fired up costs another $500 or so as well, Pope said.
The department has in the past operated on a four-day, 10-hour-per-day work week on a seasonal basis.
Pope said the change in schedule will not effect services provided by the department.
Workers will report for work at 6:30 a.m. under the new schedule and end their day at 5 p.m., Pope said.
“With the time change it’s getting daylight now just after 7 o’clock,” Pope said. “So by the time they punch in and get out, it’s daylight.”