Members of the Carter County 911 Board defended their decision to give employees a generous one-time bonus last month.
Board members discussed that decision at a meeting Tuesday morning, saying dispatchers had earned those bonuses, and deserved even more.
15 full-time employees received a bonus of $3,000, while 3 part-time dispatchers got $1,500.
911 Director Dale Blevins says the money came from a reimbursement for equipment from the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board. He says it was a one-time infusion of money, that the board decided would be best spent on its employees, who have not received a raise in three years. He adds it could be incentive for dispatchers to not leave Carter County for similar, higher paying, jobs in the region.
“We don’t want to become a training ground for them,” says Blevins, “they can go to other places and make more money, but this is a way to help keep those folks here and keep them loyal… we’re one of the lowest paid centers in the area, compared to other centers in our region, we’re the second lowest paid in this region.”
Blevins says the board also used funds from the surplus to fund the county’s Next Generation 911 system, and added about half of the total to the board’s reserve funds. He says they could not have used the money for bonuses if they had added it to the reserve fund.
Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.