HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A Hinds County supervisor, who voted against a pay raise for Public Works employees, discussed why the raises are not fiscally feasible at this time.

Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Credell Calhoun voted against the pay raise. He said the county is aware of the many complaints from various employees concerning compensation, but it’s not the county’s top priority.

Calhoun insisted that American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding cannot be used to provide Public Works with a $300 a month pay raise because it would breach funding conditions and would also cause an imbalance to the county’s current budget.

He added that the county did use the federal ARPA funds to provide a one-time premium payout for Hinds County essential workers during the pandemic. The rest of the money is being allocated for other projects, including fixing Jackson’s crumbling water system.

“We’re trying to to alleviate some serious problems in the City of Jackson. We know giving a raise is a serious problem, but we have more serious problems, too, also. And the rules say, I’m talking about the ARPA rules, you cannot give raises for employees, and so, we cannot use ARPA funds for the for for raises for employees,” Calhoun stated.

The supervisor said the county is anticipating more funds outside of ARPA this year. Once that money becomes available, they will revisit the budget for the possibility of a pay raise.

Supervisor Robert Graham said it’s possible to use ARPA funding to give raises, but they have to be creative with the legal language in order to do so.