In a move designed to help save money, Spokane County's Building and Planning offices will be closed on Fridays, starting the first week of May.
County officials announced this week they'd negotiated a "memorandum of understanding" with two unions that represent staff in the department, which issues building permits and inspects construction projects to ensure they meet codes.
The staff of 39 will go from working 37.5 hours per week to working 32 hours a week, and the office will only be open from 7:30 a.m to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. After May 4, no permits will be issued and no sites will be inspected on Fridays "until further notice," a county spokeswoman said.
The change quickly drew criticism from the construction community, which needs permits to start projects and inspections to complete them.
"That is outrageous," Kate McCaslin, chief executive officer of Associated Builders and Contractors, said. "Do they think that the world just stops on Friday? They no longer operate in the real world."