- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - Manitowoc officials have been developing more efficient ways of getting work done since layoffs left the city with too few employees to do tasks the old way.

Officials have been experimenting with ways to make departments leaner and more efficient, HTR Media reported (https://htrne.ws/1fHoOov ). The strategy is common in the business world, and city leaders say it can help save money for taxpayers as well.

For example, in late 2011 the city laid off half the workers in its street-maintenance department. Now, 17 people are asked to do the work of 33 - a tall order when it comes to tasks such as plowing the streets after a heavy snowstorm.

So operations officials developed plans that include redesigning plow routes and finding more places to dump excess snow.

Alderman Scott McMeans said the idea is to run the city like a lean business. He said staffers are being encouraged to offer smart ideas, and the taxpayers enjoy the benefits.

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Information from: HTR Media, https://www.htrnews.com

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