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Lyerly’s Town Council is discussing whether or not it should give a bonus to all employees out of its $95,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds.
Lyerly has four full-time employees and one part-time employee that would be given the bonus if the council decides to approve it. However, some on the council were not thrilled about the idea. The main argument was that the county had already awarded $1,500 to every government employee in late November. Lyerly’s employees were also given a Christmas bonus recently.
“It didn’t come from these funds though,” Mayor Jim Ferguson said.
The town’s relief money has specific regulations set by the federal government that dictate how they can be spent. Mayor Ferguson said he has not found anything worth spending some of the money on other than awarding a bonus to the employees.
“I don’t necessarily agree with doing that,” Councilman Jim Gilliland said. “We should think on it.”
“Maybe not $1,500,” Councilwoman Shirley Davis said. “Maybe $1,000.”
“It’s up to you guys,” Ferguson said. “I’m just putting it out there.”
The City of Menlo gave its fulltime employees a $3,500 bonus and part time workers received $500.
The council is working to make improvements to the old Ragland building, which was donated to the town back in 2018 and has been sitting untouched ever since.
The building, which sits across the street from town hall, was originally built sometime in the early 1940s as a sausage factory, according to vanishnorthgeorgia.com. Later, it became known as Sittion’s Garage and also operated as a gas station.
The council is wanting to repaint the building. Mayor Ferguson is also looking at closing off the back of the building where the bay doors are.
“We’ve got a drawing for enclosing the back,” Mayor Ferguson said. “We’re going to bid that out first and then we’ll get to the painting part. That building is so old, and I want to make sure there’s nothing structural that needs to be done. I don’t think there is. It’s a block building. We don’t have earthquakes or anything like that here. There’s only one tiny crack in the wall and it can be repaired, but I think we should have an engineer come and check it.”
The mayor said the town will use its SPLOST funds to complete the project, though he and the council have not heard how much it will cost.
By PEYTON ELLIOTT