Winnsboro employees to receive $2K bonuses

WINNSBORO – After giving employees unprecedented large bonuses last year, three of the five members of the Winnsboro town council voted to continue the trend.

At the Nov. 1, 2022, town council meeting, the Town’s finance director, Kathy Belton, requested council make an allocation of $63,723.49 for 2022 employee bonuses – $2,000 each for 77 full time employees and $1,000 each for 11 part time employees.

Winnsboro Mayor John McMeekin reminded council that last year was an unusual time with hundreds of thousands of one-time dollars coming into the town.

“The federal government was raining money on us,” McMeekin said, referring to American Rescue Plan funds meant to be awarded, in part, to employees who worked through the pandemic.

Mayor Pro Tem Demitrius Chatman and Councilman Danny Miller called for a $4,000 bonus (funded primarily by ARP funds) for employees last year and were joined by Councilwoman Janice Bartell to make it happen.

McMeekin said, however, that the ARP money for that purpose is all gone now and should not set a precedent for continuing such a high level of employee bonuses. He pointed out that for the three years prior to last year, employees had received a $1,000 bonus. Prior to that it was $750 and before that $500.

Still, Miller saw this year’s proposed $2,000 bonus as a decrease from last year’s $4,000 bonuses.

“It seems like we are going backward instead of forward,” Miller said. “If we have the funds available, how can we not do this?” Miller said the Town should be increasing from the $4,000 bonuses, not decreasing.

“Times are hard,” Miller said, “and employees are putting their lives on the line.”

Chatman said he sees the $2,000 proposed bonus as a way to retain employees.

McMeekin said there is enough money in the budget for $1,436 per individual.

“There are a lot of outstanding things the Town needs to take care of,” McMeekin said, “and I would like to stick within the budget with what has already been appropriated. There are a number of pieces of equipment that must be taken care of along with pipelines, a truck, etc.”

He said he would like to budget for increased employee salaries going forward, but not appropriate budgeted funds for bonuses that are not budgeted.

Belton pointed out that a request is not being made to increase the budget in any way as these funds are already in the budget. She said the request is for appropriation of these funds.

McMeekin said, however, that this amount ($63,723.49) is not the amount that was approved in the budget.

Council voted 4-3 to approve the $63,723.49 for employee bonuses. Chatman, Miller and Bartell voted for, with McMeekin and Councilman Jay Burroughs voting against.


  1. Mike Bell says

    Chatman, Miller and Bartell! Great job! Always vote for to help the people that work and make thing happen the employees!

    Good Job!

  2. Jeff Schaffer says

    Whatever happened to incentive bonuses? When a company has an employee who excels in his/her job a fat bonus, additional vacation time, etc, are marvelous ways to encourage staff to be proactive and productive. Handing money out that you found on the corner isn’t exactly the brightest idea, Just because you want to be liked or popular doesn’t mean someone earned it!

    Treat money like it is supposed to be treated…”OPM” That is; Other People’s Money
    who presented it with taxes to the town, the state, and the federal government.
    Take a deep breath and ask yourself if you had $63,723.49 in your savings account and you wanted to give something out to your employees… Would EVERYONE get the same amount? and would you do it, if there were other extenuating circumstances that might certainly require financial attention?

  3. Darrell Barnes says

    It’s rare but I agree with you 100%.

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