Nov 15, 2012 12:22 AM by Siera Santos,

Florence city workers receive boost in bonuses, morale

Taking home a holiday bonus means a little extra cash in your pocket. But in a down economy, an additional check may not always be an option for most employers.

That's not the case in Florence, as city workers are getting a boost going into the holiday season.

Full-time employees will receive a $350 bonus while part-timers will receive $175.

In the past, city workers have received bonuses in the range of $25-50 and, in some years, turkeys. With some employees making just $0.10 over minimum wage, the new paycheck will be welcomed.

Overall, low wages have been the standard for Florence city workers, but this year's healthy downtown economy means the city is seeing more revenue than other towns in Fremont County. Sales tax collections are up 7 to 8 percent.

The entire full-time staff of 43 will all receive a pay scale increase in 2013. Florence City Manager Michael Patterson says they have "great employees who were eligible for food stamps" and that the pay increases are well-deserved.

While some staff will receive an additional $50 each month, others will receive a substantial raise of up to $5,000 per year.

"We've been waiting for this a long time," says Sam Elstun who has been working in the public works department for 23 years.

"It's awesome. It brings the morale up."



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