GAINESVILLE - Hall County's employees are going to get a pay bonus, based on part or full time status and length of employment.
It affects 1499 employees and adds up to $1.465-million. The bonus came as a recommendation Thursday night from County Administrator Randy Knighton and got unanimous approval from commissioners. At Monday's work session Commissioner Scott Gibbs asked Knighton to have a presentation on bonuses ready for Thursday's voting meeting.
Chairman Dick Mecum said it is well deserved and long overdue.
"They have not had any raises of any kind over the last four or five years, Mecum said. "We just felt it was time that we pay them or at least show our appreciation for what they do for Hall County."
Mecum said the Board, at some point, wants to look at re-establishing merit raises and cost of living increases.
"That's why we want to continue being very cautious with our money," he added. "The quicker we can get to that point, the better."
Knighton added the bonuses should come just before Thanksgiving. For the county's 234 part time workers, Knighton recommended a $250 bonus. Full time employees with less than one year of service get a $250 bonus; those with one to five years employment get $500 with $1,000 for employees with over five years of service.
"These particular tiers were established in part because employees with greater tenure have experienced the austerity measures at a higher level than employees with less tenure," Knighton said.
Gibbs made the approval motion, saying it 'spoke volumes for the present and previous commission boards from where we started'.
"I know it's been tough on everybody but at the end of the day Hall County is in a much more secure financial position than we have been in the past five years," Gibbs said. "I do wish we could give a permanent increase and maybe that will be coming down the line. Hopefully next year we will send the trend level out to where we can do a cost of living raise or a merit raise. I'm just so thankful we can do this for everyone."