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Conversation about $500 bonus for Rapid City staff that worked through COVID-19 pandemic continues from Legal and Finance Committee to City Council

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - During a Legal and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, a matter came up that has been making its rounds for a while. It has to do with City staff hazard pay. It would go to those who worked for the City during the pandemic last year and are still with the City today.

It would come as a 500-dollar bonus to what was estimated as 446 employees in April, and would cost the City just shy of 260-thousand dollars.

Ron Weifenback, Rapid City Ward 1, says this agenda item feels like a dog chasing its tail and has come to them without many specifics.

The City’s Attorney says it has been showing up for a while due to the language of the matter and the nature of the pandemic. He says that hazard could apply to a variety of different positions, from solid waste staff sorting through garbage to a finance person being face to face with the public. However, he says that union city staff are just eager to know whether or not it’s going to be voted up or down.

Jason Salamun, Rapid City Ward 3, says it’s in the taxpayers benefit to keep good city employees and the bonus could act as an incentive.

”It does cost more to replace employees and this day and age when it’s really tough to fine good talent and keep good talent,” says Salamun, “I do think there is a prudent reason to consider a bonus for employees.”

The motion passed, meaning the consideration of hazard pay for various city departments, in the form of a 500 dollar bonus, will be considered by City Council on Monday.

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