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Sioux City Council to use coronavirus federal relief funds for $300 employee bonuses

The Sioux City Council voted unanimously on Oct. 12, 2020 to create a committee that will advise it on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Katie Peikes
IPR file
The Sioux City Council will give city employees a $300 employee incentive for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sioux City Council voted to reallocate federal coronavirus relief funds to provide city employees with a one-time $300 bonus.

In a 4-0 vote on Monday, the city council members decided to use $250,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act funding to show their appreciation to employees for working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Moore said both full time and temporary part time workers continued to provide exceptional service, despite the challenges COVID-19 brought.

“It’s been a stressful time. It’s been a very challenging time for them, but they rose to the occasion and they continued to provide services to the citizens,” Moore said.

“What it is to us, more than a bonus or employee incentive, it’s recognition."
Leonard Kraker, president of Sioux City Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 7

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, cities provide bonuses or hazard pay to those deemed essential workers. City Manager Bob Padmore said if they find some employees are not eligible under the federal funding, the city will use other funding to ensure every worker receives a bonus.

“We feel it’s important that everyone be recognized and not single out single groups when you take a look at the extra efforts that all the employees have done,” he said.

President of Sioux City Professional Firefighters Association Local 7, Leonard Kraker, said the coronavirus has taken a toll on workers like himself. The association made a record number of runs this year, despite some of its members contracting COVID-19 and one hospitalization.

He said it meant a lot to see city officials take the time to thank employees for their resiliency.

“What it is to us, more than a bonus or employee incentive, it’s recognition,” said Kraker. “It’s been a tough couple years for us, and we’ve done what we thought was the best we could.”

Sioux City Council members vote to reallocate $250,000 of ARPA funds toward employee bonuses.
Kendall Crawford
Sioux City Council members voted on Monday to reallocate $250,000 of ARPA funds toward employee bonuses.

The city is expected to receive a total of $40.6 million in ARPA funds within the next year. Much of the city’s federal relief dollars will likely go towards infrastructure, such as water and sewer projects.

Moore said the city will likely use funding previously allocated to broadband or hospitality projects in order to finance the employee incentives.

“We’re looking at broadband closely. What we allocated a few months ago in anticipation of the various categories that we had, we may have estimated that a little too high,” Moore said.

City council members will not receive the employee incentive money.

Employees can expect the bonuses by Dec. 17th.

Kendall was Iowa Public Radio’s western Iowa reporter based in Sioux City, IA until Jan. 20, 2023.