The majority of Van Buren County Employees will receive a 15-month bonus after Commissioners approved the use of COVID money Tuesday night.
The county plans to issue a single check to employees in November. Commissioner Bill Mosley said these men and women showed up and keep the county going through the pandemic.
“I hope all of you get your $3,000 and $1,500,” Mosley said. “Because you wore a mask, you come out here during the COVID and worked and that’s not easy to do. You do deserve it.”
The bonus will give $200 per month bonus to full-time employees, $100 per month to part-time employees. The bonus will not go to any elected officials, the elections administrator or clerk and master.
However, Mosley said he did want to take a moment to address state and federal politicians about the people in Van Buren County that he feels are still `being left behind.’
“I hope Governor Lee gets this message, we’ve got people in this county because this is one of the poorest counties in the state of Tennessee,” Mosley said. “We’ve got people in this county, after they buy their groceries, pay their utility bill, barely can get their medicine. When and Who’s gonna help Van Buren County residents that are low-income, maybe living on $800 a month? Who’s going to help them?”
Commissioner Henry Seamons that this was this federal money, not state money being used to provide bonuses and it comes with federal stipulations. County Mayor Greg Wilson said this was a good opportunity to let people know there are resources available if residents reach out.
“There are several agencies and we put it on our Facebook, we’ve got it on the board out there when y’all leave. You’ll see out there THDA, there’s a number there,” Wilson said. “Let me tell you, they’ve got all kinds of money to help people with rent, utilities and things of that nature. There’s an organization out of Crossville, it’s a homeless organization but also their mission is to keep people from being homeless and help them with their rent.”
Wilson went on to explain that being affected by COVID plays a huge role in who can get help.
“Also with this money, you have to be affected with COVID in any way, shape, form or fashion,” Wilson said. “Whether you missed work for having COVID or a family member having COVID and you were quarantined. There’s limitations upon that money.”
Wilson said the 15-month bonus is not a permanent raise. He said the last time county employees got a raise was in the 2019 budget.