Horry County Council approves hazard pay for employees affected by storm

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Hurricane Matthew had fire, EMS, police, and other county employees working around the clock responding to emergencies during and well-after the storm. Now Horry County officials are making sure these dedicated people are paid for countless hours of overtime.

A unanimous decision was the result of tonight’s vote on a resolution granting hazard pay to county employees.

The resolution means that 40 hour per week staff who worked or got overtime hours during Hurricane Matthew will get an additional eight hours of pay on top of their overtime hours.

Fire and rescue staff who worked the storm will get 10.6 hours of extra pay.

Alternate fire and rescue staff who worked during Hurricane Matthew will see their paychecks reflect an additional 9.6 hours of pay.

Police and detention center staff will receive 8.55 hours of additional pay — all on top of any overtime hours worked.

Any staff who could not work because they were unable to get to their jobs due to storm conditions will receive their regular pay and won’t have to take any leave.

Council members were told that all together the hazard pay totals around $1.05 million. Money for the hazard pay will come from each departments fund, so police are paid from the police fund, fire and rescue from the fire and rescue fund and so on. Council said the payments will be refleceted on the paycheck received two weeks from this Friday.

Councilman Al Allen, who represents District 11, said council is committed to paying those who put their lives on the line everyday.

“Council was aware and is constantly aware of what our county employees face,” Allen said. “We’re prepared to take action on it as we did tonight so they will be and they are being compensated for the storm.”

While the payments will come out of the county’s general budget, council does plan to file with federal emergency management for a reimbursement of that money.

Speaking of federal assistance, County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster and his staff updated the latest number on damages from Hurricane Matthew here is ;now topping $13 million. That number is expected to rise and FEMA is still completing its damage assessment of the county..

Councilman Allen asks for everyone to be patient.

“Don’t expect anything from the federal government to come quickly,” Allen said.

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