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City to reimburse first responders for hazard pay that was stopped in May

During Wednesday’s press conference where he laid out details about an upcoming citywide facemask mandate for businesses and public buildings and unveiled a special crime task force that will begin work Thursday, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the city’s first responders — firefighters, police officers and some employees with the city’s gas department — in the city were still receiving additional hazard pay as part of the COVID-19 civil emergency order.

When questioned about the hazard pay and comments that the additional pay had stopped, Flaggs said it had not. Following the press conference, and after looking into the matter, Flaggs said he was wrong. The additional hazard pay for first responders stopped May 31.

But Flaggs said those first responders would be getting reimbursed for the hazardous pay they should have received in June and the first weeks in July. And he said they will continue to receive the additional pay while the city remains under a civil emergency.

“During the Mayor’s Q&A on 15 July 2020, some questions about hazardous pay for first responders and other front-line workers in the Gas Department were expressed,” the city said in a statement on its website Wednesday afternoon. “The desire of the city of Vicksburg is to make sure we fulfill our promises to the men and women that serve our community selflessly on a day-to-day basis. All police, fire and gas employees that should have received pay for the time from when it stopped until today, will receive a check for all unpaid hazardous pay. Going forward, these same employees will receive hazardous pay until the City of Vicksburg is fully reopened according to state guidelines.”

The additional hazard pay being paid to first responders is money being reimbursed to the city of Vicksburg as part of the federal CARES Act.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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