MERCED — Merced County announced this week furlough days for the 2012 holiday season and for next year as part of an effort to address the county's budgetary challenges.
"The county understands this may be an inconvenience to some of our public ... we apologize in advance," said Hub Walsh, chairman of the Merced County Board of Supervisors. "We hope that providing notice will assist in planning around these days and minimize any inconvenience."
This year's holiday furlough will be one week: from Monday, Dec. 24 until the following Monday, Dec. 31.
Jan. 1 is a county holiday and county officials said they will resume normal county operations on Jan. 2.
Most non-critical county services, including library, parks, planning, permitting and administrative functions will be closed during the furlough.
County officials said critical services, such as public safety, will remain open.
These critical services include the Sheriff's Department, county fire, mental health, Castle Airport and animal control.
In addition to the 2012 holiday furloughs, the county announced the following furloughs for next year: March 29, April 1, May 24, July 5, Aug. 30, Dec. 23, Dec. 24, Dec. 26, and Dec. 27.
The periodic furlough days were granted through labor agreements approved by the supervisors at a Nov. 22 meeting.
A complete calendar of county furlough days can be found on the county's website at www.co.merced.ca.us.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.