- the water utility operates on its own budget; employees are paid from rates charged for water usage, not tax dollars so any cost savings from the furloughs would NOT save the city money
- the majority of the customers of the water utility are located outside of the city and thus would be penalized by the weekly furloughs
- all customers would be put at risk because the furloughs would mean no one was minding the water treatment plant, pumping stations, etc. on those days
The problem comes from civil service rules that state furloughs must apply to entire departments. Since TWW operates under the umbrella of the Public Works Department, any layoffs affecting Public Works must apply to TWW.
Fortunately, the state of NJ through the DEP recognized the potential problems and squelched the furlough idea.
Before that occurred, a plan was drawn up to make TWW along with the Sewer Authority their own department, thus isolating (like Police and Fire) from the furloughs. It was a good idea…for a lot of reasons.
However, the city is only allowed to have 10 departments and our current structure has us maxed out. In order to create a Water and Sewer department, room has to be made in the organization chart. Part and parcel to creating the new department was the idea of making the current department of Inspections a division of the department of Housing and Economic Development. This would actually be a return to the way things once were.
This all needs to be accomplished by an ordinance introduced and passed by the governing body (city council). Predictably, with this administration and council, the plan has stalled.