Bradley County Commission approves Essential Employee Bonuses

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – On Monday, the Bradley County Commission approved a $21 million plan to distribute funds they received from the government.

A chunk of that $21 million is going right into the pockets of Bradley County’s Essential workers.” 

Bradley County was given $21 million as part of the Federal American Rescue Plan. Mayor Davis and the county commission have worked to decide how that money should best be spent. 

After months of planning and asking for the community’s opinion, Mayor Davis said the county wanted the $21million to be put towards water line expansion, sewer, broadband expansion, covid response, affordable housing, but the top-ranked priority was giving essential workers a one time bonus.

“If you were a county employee as of July the 1st and you are still a current, active employee we want to say to you if you stayed with us through the pandemic that we appreciate your service to the county and your hard work. Also, hopefully, it will help with retention,” says Mayor Gary Davis, Bradley County.

The resolution allows for $7.5 million of that $21 million to be given to the nearly 700 county essential workers. Tier 1 employees such as EMTs, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel will receive $10,000 as a one-time bonus. The remainder of qualified county employees will receive a $6,000 bonus.

“ I would just like to get out there that these people will do this job whether or not we do get that pay bump or not. We feel honored and privileged that this has come about. It has been a difficult year since 2020. They work passionately but yet it has taken a mental toll on these folks,” says Chief Shawn Fairbanks, Bradley County EMA.

Sheriff Steve Lawson says he’s been working hard on trying to raise the pay of his employees and hopes this bonus will convince his deputies to stay in the county, instead of finding work in other counties. 

“It helps them a whole lot and I hope it really does. They are the ones that really need the money – they are the hardworking people here. Maybe this will help them along and maybe in the future we can get the payment schedule set up as to where they would want to stay,” says Sheriff Steve Lawson. 

The Mayor hopes the bonuses will be distributed in November- just in time for the holiday season.

The County is still working to finalize the distribution plan for the remainder of the funds

Categories: Bradley County, COVID-19, Featured, Local News