The Statesville City Council on Monday approved a “premium pay program” for full- and part-time employees in recognition of their hard work and service to the community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council members voted unanimously to spend $1.17 million to fund a one-time payment to all employees. Full-time employees will receive either $1,500 or $2,500. Part-timers will receive either $750 or $1,250.

Hire date will determine how much each employee receives. Employees hired on or before December 31, 2020, will receive the higher payment, and those hired between December 31, 2020, and July 1, 2021, will receive the smaller payment.

The primary source of the funds will be the city’s federal American Rescue Plan Act allocation, but the plan also calls for the use of $250,000 in surplus federal CARES Act funds from 2020. The CARES Act funds would pay for the “premium pay” for employees who are not eligible to receive American Rescue Plan Act funds based on federal guidelines.

The City of Statesville has received half of its $8.7 million share of American Rescue Plan Act funds. City officials have also been notified that the State of North Carolina has earmarked $20 million for the city.


In other business, CPA Marcie Spivey told council members that her firm, Martin Starnes & Associates, had completed its audit of the city’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

The audit, which Spivey said found no material misstatements, no questioned costs and no significant deficiencies or material internal control weaknesses, showed the city is in a strong financial position.

The city added $7.4 million to its fund balance during fiscal year 2020-2021. At the beginning of the current fiscal year, the city had $23.19 million in its unassigned fund balance, which is equivalent to eight months of expenses.

Ad valorem property tax revenues increased $600,000, or 4 percent, over the prior year, and sales tax revenues jumped $1.4 million, or 14 percent, according to Spivey’s report.

That good news was tempered slightly by annual losses at Statesville Regional Airport of $700,000 and the civic center of $740,000.

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