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County votes to boost pay for employees
Glynn County municipal employees will receive a considerably larger paycheck on Dec. 6.

The Glynn County Commission voted Thursday to give employees a one-time lump sum 3 percent bonus.

Commissioners Bob Coleman and Jerome Clark were not at the meeting.

Prior to the vote, County Administrator Alan Ours explained that county employees were given annual cost of living raises and merit increases until 2009 when the bad economy for the county put them on hold.

The county also stopped paying tuition reimbursements, sick leave and wellness raises, Ours said. Meanwhile, the price of food and gasoline has increased dramatically.

"Employees have experienced significant cost of living impacts to their spending," he said.

At an earlier meeting, county officials expressed concern that the county was losing good employees because they weren't being paid competitive wages.

"I think everyone realizes the sacrifices our employees have made the past four years," Commission Chairman Richard Strickland said.

Strickland said he supported the one-time lump sum raise with the understanding that merit increases could be approved next year, depending on the economy.

Ours said the one-time bonus will cost the county $997,740.

Commissioners also approved a Georgia Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant for the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Keepers House. The grant is being administered by Coast Georgia Historical Society.

The historical society has been raising money for $1.3 million in repairs to the keeper's dwelling and improvements to displays. The $250,000 Department of Transportation grant will help pay for the work.

The grant will be added to $945,000 already amassed by the historical society, which remains short of its goal.

Work won't begin until after the next tourism season ends in late summer of 2013, when it will have the least impact on visitors. The lighthouse will remain open during most of the six months the keeper's dwelling is undergoing restoration.

Deteriorating plaster inside the house will be repaired, a new air conditioning and dehumidifier system installed, and displays will be changed. The electrical and security systems will also be upgraded. Outside, the work will be more extensive.

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