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Windsor employees get bonuses

Employees of the town of Windsor can expect a bonus of $600 as a reward for their hard work over the last yearvoted the Town Council decided on Tuesday.

Councilman J. Clinton Bryant spearheaded the additional compensation for the 11 employees, which was originally proposed in the amount of $1,000 per employee. The funds will be transferred from a surplus in the town’s general fund for fiscal 2008.

“We’re doing quite well…we’re going to end up spending much less than we anticipated,” said interim Town Manager John Rowe, who is not on the list of employees to receive a bonus. “It would not have an impact on next year’s budget.”

Vice Mayor William Jones and Councilman Wesley Garris opposed the bonuses.

“The last time we gave bonuses…in December, we got rid of one person in January,” said Garris. “In times of furloughs and people getting laid off, I just think we need to hold the line.”

Bryant said that the council should look at the money not as a bonus but as a way to offset cuts in salary and benefits that have had to be made during the economic downturn.

Council members asked Rowe why the surplus funds could not be used to offset the proposed water rate increase for fiscal 2009.

The town’s general policy is not to use the general fund to subsidize the water fund, Rowe said. The water fund still owes the general fund $181,000 from a subsidy approved by the council several years ago.

Council members also voted on measures to approve and adopt the five-year capital improvements plan, the fiscal 2009 operating budget, imposing and levying taxes for the year, and an adjusted water rate schedule.

The council unanimously approved tax levies but was split on the other three measures. Mayor Marvin Crocker’s vote of approval was needed to break the split.

The water extension project along Old Suffolk Road has been a topic of contention among citizens, who would have to pay fees for the new connection.