Hartsville city employees to get ‘COVID bonuses’

By Bobby Bryant, Editor

editor@newsandpress.net

The City of Hartsville will get $3.7 million in federal COVID relief funds, and will spend up to $410,000 of that money on “bonuses” for essential employees who have had to work up-close with the public during the pandemic. The plan, similar to the one set up recently by Darlington County government, limits any one employee to approximately $3,100 in COVID bonuses, also known as “premium pay.” Hartsville City Council OK’d the plan during their regular meeting Sept. 14. The money is coming from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, intended as a safety net to help states, cities and counties across the country recover from the pandemic. The City of Darlington, for example, will get nearly $3 million in federal COVID relief. “We never lost any services” since the pandemic began in 2020, Hartsville City Manager Daniel Moore told council. “The water was never turned off, the sanitation was picked up … the fires were put out. … Our staff suffered alongside everyone in this country, but they did so without any griping. They did so at their own peril.” The COVID bonuses, Moore said, are Hartsville’s way of showing that essential employees’ work has been appreciated during the crisis. “COVID is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before,” he said. “Across the city, my finance clerks, my sanitation drivers, the police, the fire department – they all put themselves at the same risk.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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