AUGUSTA. Ga. (WJBF) – More money will be in the pockets of some city employees right before the holidays.

“People who work for the City of Augusta work really hard,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

A $1,000 bonus is on the way for some city workers. About one thousand first responders are eligible.

Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office told NewsChannel 6, “We didn’t get no COVID days or COVID weeks or work short weeks or work off of Zoom. They have to be out there every day and that’s not just including our deputies. That’s including our employees.”

Funds for the extra compensation are coming from the American Rescue Plan which was signed off by Governor Brian Kemp.

Commissioners also decided Tuesday to give city employees a mental health day.

“I think it adds to the Christmas holiday. If you look at what was proposed initially, it was the 20th. We moved it to the 23rd and just added it to the holiday,” said Williams.

But some city leaders are not happy with giving many people a day off.

Commissioner John Clarke said, “Instead of a mental health day, we need to have a workday.”

According to Clarke, It’s been a difficult time during the pandemic for almost everybody and he doesn’t want any taxpayer ignored.

He added, “I don’t mind Augusta giving benefits but the thing about it is, not the first employee of the City of Augusta lost one hour of pay. The citizens did. Let’s think about the citizens first.”

Essential employees who work on the mental health day will have until February to schedule another day to be off.