Despite the opposition of two of its members, the Drew County Quorum Court voted last week to approve a “premium pay” plan for city employees using money from the American Rescue Plan’s Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund.

The Quorum Court voted to amend the annual operating budget for 2021 and pay all “essential employees who worked between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021 $3.03 per hour with a cap of $5,200.

According to the Advance Monticellonian newspaper, two justices of the peace voted against the proposal because it did not include former employees who worked for Drew County during that time frame.

Drew County Treasurer Charlie Searcy said guidance from the Association of Arkansas Counties said retired employees who received the pay could have their retirement messed up since they would be receiving money from the county while retired.

The newspaper reported that the quorum court will come back and visit the issue of paying former employees and retirees at a later date.

A total of $422,490.38 will be paid to the employees from money Drew County received from the American Rescue Plan.