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Council gives employees a holiday surprise

The Farmville Town Council was able to provide an early Christmas surprise to each of its 148 employees to help compensate for what has been a long, trying 2020. Council approved a $500 payment to each employee during its Wednesday, Dec. 9, monthly meeting.

The town recently received $150,000 in CARES Act money from Prince Edward County to reimburse the town for what it has spent on public safety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This $150,000 goes back into our general fund,” Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis said while asking the council for guidance on what to do with the money.

After some discussion, the council agreed to take $79,661 of the money to provide a one-time payment of $500 to each of the town’s 148 employees. The total also includes the required FICA payment for the one-time payment. The remaining $70,339 was set aside in a contingency fund as council anticipated more stringent restrictions from the state that could negatively affect local businesses and impact the town’s revenue.

A couple town department heads attending the meeting expressed appreciation for the decision.

“Thank you all for what you did tonight. That will make a big difference to a lot of employees,” Director of Public Works Robin Atkins said.

Police Chief Andy Ellington also thanked the council for the decision.

“You all have had a heck of a year this year. You had some really tough decisions to make, and I respect you for that. You are really going to make a lot of employees happy come Christmas,” Ellington said. “We’ve done this together. We’ve all worked as a team, and we’re looking forward to quickly getting into 2021.”