The Accomack County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to expand a program funded by the State Compensation Board to provide one time $3000 bonuses to active, full-time sworn, state-supported local first responder positions under the control of the Accomack County Sheriff and funded by the State Compensation Board to include all other County employed full and part-time first responders as well.

The additional eligible employed full and part time responders will receive $13.00 for each actual hour worked from September 15, 2021 to November 15, 2021 not exceeding $3,000.

The estimated total cost of the bonuses is $390,769.00 with the State providing $158,245 and the County making up the difference using $232,524 from ARPA funding.

The State requires bonuses to be paid no later than November 30, 2021.  Those receiving the bonus will be paid on that date.

The Board also passed a resolution to amend the 2021-22 County Budget to reflect the expenditure.

In previous discussions the Board emphasized the need to level the playing field for all first responders that worked for the County during the pandemic.  The motion is part of an effort to make the rules regarding employee compensation more uniform for all county employees.

Discussion ensued about other employees who are not first responders.  Supervisor Hart stated forcefully that we should compensate all employees who worked through the pandemic.  Hart said Northampton did this and we should as well. This includes many employees who continued to work and had contact with  the public.

Supervisor Major also agreed. She said that there are some employees who actually contracted COVID as a result of contact with the public.  Major, who is employed by Northampton County and will receive $1.25 per hour worked from January 1, 2020 until October 1.

The Board decided to take a consensus vote to ask staff to prepare a report on the cost and sources of revenue to be used and present it to the Board at the November meeting.

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