Clovis News

Valley agencies to close next week

Sweeping furloughs have prompted many local cities and counties to take all of next week off. With the exceptions of fire and police and a few other essential services, the cities of Fresno and Clovis, as well as Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties, have told their employees to take an extra-long holiday break.

Since employees had to take furlough days anyway, it made more sense to take them now, officials said.

Typically "during the holidays you see a drop-off in the number of folks coming into city hall," said Chad Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the city of Clovis.

He said most employees were happy with the decision to take many of the furlough days all at once instead of spreading them out over the year.

In Kings County, extra days off during the holiday period were granted to employees because they agreed during labor negotiations to contribute more money to the state retirement system, helping the county balance its annual budget, said county spokeswoman Deb West.

In the city of Fresno, bus service will continue as usual except for Christmas Day, when there will be no service. Recreation centers will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Christmas and New Year's eves. Payment centers for utilities and business taxes will be closed next week, though utilities can still be paid online or over the phone.

The doors to some government offices will open for at least a few days next week.

In Kings County, the Assessor's Office will be open from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday and until 10 a.m. on Wednesday -- the last day of the year to record a document.

Farmersville, Exeter, Woodlake and Lemoore city offices will be open Monday through Wednesday, but will close at noon Thursday in addition to being closed on New Year's Eve.