By Richard Rourk
Town of Erwin employees received some good news this holiday season.
During the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, the BMA unanimously approved resolution 1299-21 which approved a $3,000 one-time essential employee premium pay for all Town of Erwin employees out of the American Rescue Plan Act funds and a $500 holiday bonus to the volunteer firemen out of the general fund for the on-call firefighters who work part time.
“It was a blessing that we had these funds to provide these essential workers,” said Erwin Mayor Glenn White. “It was wonderful to let our employees know that they are loved and that this is more than a place to work; it’s a home.”
Erwin Alderman Michael Baker was excited to see the ARPA funding go to good use.
“One of the uses of the American Rescue Plan Act funds is to provide premium pay for essential employees,” Baker said. “During the height of the pandemic all of our employees were working daily with the public. I think this one time stipend could not have come at a better time with Christmas just days away and with the rising costs of everyday goods.”
The BMA also took time to recognize one town employee who has put in more than 30 years of service to Erwin.
“We are so lucky to have an officer like Mark Anderson that has dedicated his life to protecting others,” White said. “He stayed home for all these years and he has been a success for Erwin.”
Town of Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson said he was sad to see Anderson call it a career.
“Mark is the type of officer that you hate to lose,” Tilson said. “He is a part of the community and has served his community with distinction for three decades.”
Baker said he was glad to see Anderson get recognition.
“Thank you Mark for your service with the town and special thanks to Chief Tilson who runs an outstanding department,” Baker said. “We are lucky to have such great and dedicated employees with the Town of Erwin.”
In addition, Baker advised that he had recently attended the Northeast Tennessee Tourist Association’s Winter Social where he learned that Unicoi County was leading the state in travel and was up 52% in September.
The BMA is scheduled to hold a work session at Erwin Town Hall, on Monday, Jan. 3, at 4 p.m. to discuss funding repairs for the Unicoi County High School tennis courts and a new waste management contract.