Virginia Beach City Council unanimously votes to use CARES Act funding for hazard pay, volunteer recognition

Posted at 11:54 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 23:54:08-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to authorize the use of the CARES Act funding and transfer funds to various departments for hazard pay and volunteer recognition.

On July 7, City Council appropriated $39.3 million in CARES Act Funding to the city's operating budget, including setting $10 million aside for future expenses.

During the special formal session with the planning commission, they approved to use $4,521,300 of the $10 million reserve funds will go towards hazard pay and $60,000 for volunteer recognition.

The CARES Act provides funding for several different programs to address the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, hazard pay is included for employees that provide services that increases risk of exposure to COVID- 19. The hazard-pay-eligible employees were only allowed up to two weeks of Public Health Emergency Leave due to the nature of their positions.

According to city officials, 2,273 employees within public safety departments, the Department of Health, and the Department of Human Services satisfy the hazard pay criteria.

Eligible sworn public safety officials will be given between $1,000 and $2,000 in hazard pay depending on rank, and those in Health and Human Services will be given $1,500. This payment will be given in a lump sum amount in either August or September.

In addition, the City Council will recognize the efforts of the volunteer emergency medical services with $60,000 in funding being made available for volunteer recognition activities through the Volunteer Rescue Squads to be coordinated by the Office of Volunteer Resources and/ or the Department of Emergency Medical Services.