By NATASHA LAFAYETTE email@example.com
The Jellico Electric and Water System Board of directors meeting started with the auditors report Tuesday night.
Other than an operating loss in the water and sewer system, the auditor reported the system was found to be in good standing.
“The only area I might point out is last year because of grant receipts related to capital improvements, the operating loss of the water department would have been eliminated before it went to retained earnings,” said Frank McDaniel with Brown, Jake and McDaniel public accountants. “This year we did not have those capital grants therefore it did reflect an operating loss in the water and sewer department.”
In other business, the board discussed employee certification adjustments. According to Utility manager Mike Bethurem, two employees have obtained higher levels of certification and are owed reimbursement. The pay is based on the continuing education policy that provides employees with an incentive to gain additional training.
The policy provides for a pay increase or a $500 bonus. Bethurem stated one of the employees would have a $0.75 raise and the other would get the bonus.
“This is what we have outlined in our policy as a procedure of what we would do,” said Bethurem. “In light of the fact that we didn’t give raises this year or budget in raises I will leave it up to the board on what you want to do.”
The board approved the designated payouts, reasoning they should stick with the policy enacted to provide incentive to employees.
The board clarified that all employees are eligible for higher education pay due to the fact that money is available for training, Bethurem said.
The board also approved Christmas bonuses. Higher bonuses were provided because no salary increases were awarded for the year.
Bethurem suggested the employees receive $150 for full time employees and $50 for part-time.
Board member Eddie Barton asked about the town’s bonuses, which were $500 for full-time employee.
“I make a motion we give our employees a $250 Christmas bonus across the board,” said Barton. “And leave it up to Mike (Bethurem) to find the money.”
Bethurem replied by saying the electric department has the money, but the water does not.
Board member Ann Watts reluctantly seconded the motion to give $250 Christmas bonuses to full-time employees.
During the roll call all board members voted for the bonuses with the exception of Jerry Neal, who reasoned that the money is not available in the department to give such a large bonus.