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City, county closing for the holidays

If you have plans to host a Christmas parade on your block, better get your permit from the city by Wednesday.

City and county offices will close Thursday and won't reopen until Jan. 4. City and county employees will take either furloughs or vacation days during the holiday hiatus. Police, firefighters and other essential personnel will remain on duty.

The furloughs are expected to save the city about $500,000, said Jessica Smart, a city spokeswoman.

The county hasn't calculated how much it will save in employee time off. Most county employees are using vacation time, not furloughs, said Stan Risen, county assistant executive officer.

The city and county, which share Tenth Street Place, will keep the six-story building in "weekend mode." Thermostats will be lowered to a brisk 62 degrees and janitorial service will be limited to the first floor, which is shared with businesses such as Ditto's, said Bob Carpenter, the building's facility manager.

The customer service lobby will be closed, which means city utility customers won't be able to pay their bills in person. Instead, customers can pay over the phone (call 577-5395, choose option 4) or online at www.modestogov.com.

Customer service representatives will be able to assist the public over the phone with utility services on Monday through Dec. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Customers also can pay utility bills at authorized pay stations.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378. Follow her at twitter.com/beereporter.

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