Memphis, TN (abc24.com) - The holidays are coming early for Memphis Light, Gas, and Water employees, after the utility company's board voted to hand out year-end bonuses on Thursday afternoon.
Under the plan, full-time employees will receive $750, and part-time employees will net $200.
"A $750 bonus? Wow." said Yolanda Johnson as she paid her water bill on Thursday evening.
The bonuses come a week after MLGW president asked the City Council to approve a 5 percent water rate hike and a 1 percent increase in salary. The council soundly rejected both notions.
The utility company says the raises would have cost about $1.6 million a year, while the bonuses will cost $2 million, just this year.
"It cost more immediately, but far less in the long term." said Jerry Collins, MLGW President & CEO.
Collins says MLGW will present a new budget to city council next Tuesday, one that doesn’t include a water rate hike or raises.
Collins says without the hike, the water division could lose up to $2 million next year.
Both the City of Memphis and Shelby County voted to give their employees bonuses.
Meanwhile, those bonus checks head out to employees next Friday.