Council decides on ARPA funds

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Farmville Town Council on Wednesday, Feb. 9 held a brief monthly meeting to discuss some timely business.

The Farmville Town Council continued its discussion regarding the use of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for employee bonuses. The Council held a special meeting on Dec. 21 to discuss what to do with these funds. At the meeting, they voted to give a year-end bonus of $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time employees. There were still many aspects in the air that made this a discussion the Council would return to once they had more information.

Now, the United States Treasury has finalized the rules on how to use this money and the finance director, town manager and auditor calculated the loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

“It was discussed at the work session last week (Feb. 2) that we had a new response from our auditors about what was allowed or not and so you have the loss that we are showing of revenue which is around $800,000 that we could use that for incentive pay for those who stayed with us during COVID-19,” said Dr. Scott Davis, Town Manager.

Due to this report of loss, the Council could approve another $1,000 or a $2,000 incentive bonus for employees knowing that they did have the funds.

Council Member Thomas Pairet made a motion to make two $1,000 bonuses. One would be given now with the second at the end of the fiscal or calendar year to spread it out.

Council Member Sallie Amos also made a motion to give the full $2,000 now to match what the county gave, which was $3,000 once added to the December bonus. The motion passed 6 to 1 with Pairet the only no.

According to the acting director of finance, Carol Anne Seal, employees should have seen this bonus in their account on Monday, Feb. 14.

OTHER BUSINESS:

• Mayor David Whitus welcomed Dr. Eric Hodges’ political science class, who attended the meeting for an assignment.

• The Town Council voted to approve the audit that Julie Moore of Brown Edwards & Co. LLP presented at the January meeting. Moore reported that the town had a clean, unmodified opinion, which every audited entity strives to achieve. The town also had no new findings and some of its prior findings were decreased in significance while some went away completely, showing that the town is moving in the right direction.

• Due to a vacancy on the board of zoning appeals, the Personnel Committee met on Wednesday, Feb. 2, to recommend someone to fill the vacancy. Vice Mayor A.D. Reid recommended Zach Preston, who was unanimously voted in.

• Two open houses are scheduled for the redistricting with one from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Moton Museum and one from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Farmville Train Station. Ward B and Ward C are most impacted by this redistricting and are encouraged to come out and learn about these changes before a public hearing that will be scheduled before adopting the new plans.

• Chief Andy Ellington gave an update on the department’s busy week. They have made several arrests for the two shootings that occurred on Christmas Eve and on Sunday, Feb. 6, which involved a police officer. Ellington also gave an update that there are three suspects for the pharmacy robbery on Monday, Feb. 7 as well as suspects for the burglaries that have occurred in neighborhoods. He gave a reminder for folks to be vigilant by locking cars and being aware of their surroundings. If someone sees something suspicious, please report it and folks can use the tipline Tip 411 to do so anonymously.