BERRYVILLE — The Clarke County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a one-time, $3,000 pay bonus for county sheriff's deputies.
Made possible under state legislation, the bonus is intended to show deputies appreciation for their willingness to continue working with the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Those folks were out exposed" to the coronavirus directly, said County Administrator Chris Boies.
Fifteen deputies are to receive the bonus around October. It initially will cost $48,443, including the county's share of payroll taxes.
Using federal economic stimulus funds, the state will refund $41,984, resulting in the county actually footing the bill for $6,459.
The county's share will be used to give bonuses to deputies whose salaries aren't covered by the state Compensation Board.
"It's an issue of fairness" among all of the deputies, said supervisors Chairman David Weiss, who represents the Buckmarsh District.
Brenda Bennett, the county's joint administrative services director, said the sheriff's office is expected to be able to cover the $6,459 through savings it has achieved.
The bonus was approved in a unanimous vote following a motion by White Post District Supervisor Bev McKay, the board's vice chairman.
Also Tuesday, the supervisors gave the Lord Fairfax Health District permission to carry over to the current budget year $86,637 that wasn't spent in the previous one.
The money will be used to fill vacant positions at the Clarke County Health Department and cover a state-mandated 5% salary increase for employees, Bennett said.
Leigh Ann Sweeney, a health district administrator, wrote in an email to Boies that the carryover request stemmed from savings achieved by not filling positions during the pandemic and federal funds the district received to fight COVID-19.
"While we continue to lead the fight against COVID," Sweeney wrote, "we are also presently refilling the vacancies in our staff to ensure our ability to provide services in the future. So we do not expect these vacancy savings to recur."