Ridgecrest City Council approved a one-time risk bonus for essential employees at the last council meeting.
In March 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which authorizes one-time tax relief funds to state and local governments and other program areas aimed at mitigating the ongoing efforts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of these funds was intended to strengthen support for vital public services, including city employees.
“Although City employees have not received a cost of living increase since 2008, employees have shown resilience and perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to support the community and providing essential City services that residents rely on, ”said Cherri Freese. , finance director.
Authorized Uses of ARPA Funding Focus on Four Key Program Areas, Including Responding to Workers Performing Critical Work During COVID-19
According to Freese, the Town of Ridgecrest cannot afford an increase at this time.
Freese said, “This unique essential risk bonus for employees would recognize the hard work and dedication of employees at a time when the community depended on them the most.”
The one-time essential risk premium for employees would be paid in three installments. The first installment was approved by the Board in April 2021. The second installment would be paid on December 17 and the third installment would be paid on June 17, 2022.
The first installment was a payment of $ 1,000 for all current full-time employees and $ 500 for all current part-time employees paid in the employee’s regular paycheque on April 23, 2021. The second installment will be a payment of $ 1,500 for all current full-time employees hired on or before July 1, 2021 and still employed on December 12, 2021 paid in the employee’s regular paycheck on December 17.
The third installment would be a payment of $ 1,500 for all current full-time employees hired before January 1, 2022 and still employed on June 12, 2022, paid into the employee’s regular paycheque on June 17, 2022.
The funds used to provide this payment are repayable out of the US Rescue Plan funding.
The total cost of this one essential risk premium to employees is $ 424,142.00.
“Employees deserve their risk premium because they have continued to work since the pandemic,” City Manager Ron Strand said.