With so many local, state and federal employees taking advantage of holiday breaks at Christmas and New Year’s, some government services have been limited by the reduced staff, while other services were postponed until the holidays are over.
According to Kevin Larson, Fort Stewart public affairs officer, even the Army slows down during the holidays.
“Half-days started Dec. 17, and ended on Jan. 1,” Larson said. “Half-days are very much like training holidays. Soldiers have (annual) leave and Army civilians are encouraged to take leave.”
Larson said the only services affected by Stewart’s half-day schedule were the dining facilities and the sewing and alteration shop at the post exchange.
He said only the 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division’s Raider dining facility and 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s Vanguard dining facility were open for all meals during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The sewing shop was open only from 9 a.m.-noon during the holidays, and was closed Dec. 23-25 and Dec. 29-Jan. 1, he said.
The Georgia Department of Labor maintained a full staff providing regular services, according to Sam Hall, director of communications in the Atlanta office.
“We were open for full services except during the three state holidays in which all state offices were closed,” Hall said. “We were closed Dec. 24-25 for Christmas and on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1. We didn’t reduce staff just because it was a holiday.”
A local government office, OMI, continued its sanitation services throughout the holidays, not even taking off Christmas or New Year’s Day. According to Rodney Edwards, sanitation department supervisor for OMI, that is nothing new.
“We work every holiday,” Edwards said, explaining why it may appear trash and yard waste is not being picked up. “Sometimes, people don’t know we pick up trash on a holiday, and they forget to put their trash cans out by the curb. When they see us pass, then they’ll take their trash out to the road.”
He said some of the overstuffed trash cans people see in residential areas are from those residents who realized too late that trash was being picked up as usual. After the truck passes, he said they bring their cans out to the road. Their trash can stands out because it’s stuffed with trash while others along the same street are empty with the lid still open.
Saying that his department works all day, every day, Edwards said those residents who realized trash was being picked up but were not ready can call OMI at 876-9216. He said the trash truck will make another trip to that area to accommodate those residents.