The one-time cost of living supplement was designed to help ease the costs of rising fuel and groceries that employees are encountering.
"Clarence had hoped to get rid of furloughs, but the revenues are not recovered enough to do that," the county's Chief Financial Officer Jo Taylor said. "With the rising cost of living, especially gasoline and all that, he felt like he wanted to do something. This is what he decided to do."
County employees have not seen a raise in their income since furloughs began four years ago and suffered a setback in 2010 when the county raised the cost of insurance premiums.
"[Their income] is just going down, down, down and when the gas is doing what it's doing we've got some people that's really hurting," Brown said. "Even though our budget is very, very tight, I felt like this is something we just had to do."
As the budget has been repeatedly lowered, funds for the supplements will cause departments to find even more cuts to offset the supplement that was provided to all full and permanent part-time employees.
"We've asked [the departments] to be as tight on their budget as they can," Taylor said. "We did not plan for this at budget time, this was not budgeted but if we cannot work it into their current budget then we will probably have to do amendments later in the year. We're hoping some small departments may can work it into their budget."
Most departments have lost several employees due to early retirements. To balance that loss, many remaining employees have taken on the extra work load.
"I don't think the people realize just yet with the number of people that's retired and we haven't replaced them, it's doubled up on the people that are working and having to do more," Brown said. "Some of our people, if they left, you'd have to have two people to replace some of them. We're trying to do the best we can. [The supplement] will help a little and that's what we're trying to do -- help out a little bit if we can. If they're doing the job and working the way they're working to serve the people in the county I just hope the people in the county appreciate what they're doing because they still get the same service and that's because the employees are working harder to give it to them."