According to the Kennebec Journal, a Maine town is using part of its COVID-19 relief funding to pay Christmas bonuses to its employees.

Over the next two years, the town of Skowhegan, Maine will be receiving funds in the amount of $870,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act. The town has been discussing the best ways to spend this money and, one of the ideas that's been pitched, is bonuses for town staff.

It was decided at Tuesday's Select meeting that fulltime municipal employees will receive a $2,000 bonus while part-time staff will received a $1,000 bonus.

While the board was mainly in agreement that a bonus plan was a good idea, there were differing opinions on who should get the majority of the bonus money. Though Selectman, Paul York, was the one who first tossed the idea out, Selectman Harold Bigelow thought that consideration should be taken for which employees have been more exposed to COVID-19, such as the fire department.

Bigelow told the Kennebec Journal,

“As far as I’m concerned, there were different levels of exposure. I do agree we oughta do something across the board before Christmas, and that’s what I’m here for now. When this pandemic first started, (the Town Office) shut the front doors and it was very obvious that the Police and Fire departments were still out."

Other area towns, like Waterville, Madison and Anson (among others), are also planning to pay some sort of bonus to their municipal employees, too.

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