MADISON — Town officials have decided to spend $33,000 in federal relief money to pay end-of-year bonuses to municipal employees who have worked through the coronavirus pandemic.

Fifty-seven employees in different departments will receive a bonus, with 17 of them full-time workers and the remainder part-time. Bonuses for part-time workers will range from $100 to $1,250 and full-time town employees will receive $1,500, with the money covered through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The Board of Selectmen met Monday to review the payment plan and expects to have bonuses issued in the next few weeks.

The decision to move forward with the payments, which will be delivered before Christmas Day, follows a recommendation made in September by Town Manager Tim Curtis on how to use the $487,945 in federal aid that will be received over two years. Half of the funds have already been received and about $2,000 has been spent.

“(Bonuses) for employees are about 6 or 6.5% of our overall award,” Curtis said. “We plan to spend the bulk of the (federal money) on infrastructure. When Madison Paper closed down (in 2016) we put off a lot of sewer and storm drain work and that’s gone idle for years. We hope to use a bulk of this money to address these infrastructure projects.”

Curtis’ September recommendation included employee bonuses, road reconstruction and infrastructure, and creating a matching grant program for small businesses in town.

Other municipalities have also looked at providing bonuses to their own workers. In Anson, officials used $70,600 of their $250,000 in federal funds to pay bonuses to members of the Anson Fire Department and the Anson-Madison-Starks Ambulance Service.

Officials in Skowhegan are looking at the best way to use their $870,000 in relief aid and have discussed bonuses for employees, though they have not yet come to an agreement.

American Rescue Plan Act money can be used in four different areas: in response to COVID-19 and its negative economic impact, to provide premium pay to eligible workers responding to the public health emergency, to ensure funding for essential government services, and for investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

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