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In an effort to address budget constraints, offices for some Santa Maria City departments will close every Friday starting June 29.

"We've been resorting to multifaceted strategies to balance our budgets for many years now," city spokesperson Mark van de Kamp said. "Now it's come to another strategy: closing on Fridays."

While administrative offices for most departments — including the City Manager's Office, the Finance Department and City Hall — will remain closed, Van de Kamp said public services will remain open and city employees will still be at work. 

The Police Department, Public Library, Recreation and Parks and Utilities departments will not be affected.

Friday closure signs in English and Spanish will be posted at all affected buildings, and notices will be added to the city’s website. Customers are asked to schedule in-person business on other weekdays and utilize online services at cityofsantamaria.org.

To further address budget restrictions, city employees in participating departments will shift to a 9/80 work schedule — 80 hours over 9 days — starting June 29. Van de Kamp does not anticipate the schedule change to affect the level of service provided by the city.

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Santa Maria is not the only city to adjust its work schedule, with Van de Kamp noting that Goleta city offices are closed every Friday, and Santa Barbara city offices are closed every other Friday due to a 9/80 work schedule.

Between 2010 and 2013, city offices were closed for 49 furlough days. The furlough program was also implemented in 1994 and 1995.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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