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County employees to get extra holiday
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Newton County employees will receive 12 paid holidays, not 11 as in years past, off work next year.

The Board of Commissioners voted on July 17 to add Good Friday back to a list of planned holidays presented by Chairman Keith Ellis. The day was eliminated from the list of 11 holidays because Christmas falls on a Thursday this year. By moving the date to Dec. 26, employees would have a longer Christmas break, Ellis said, and not have to come in on a day when nothing really happens anyway.

But Commissioner John Douglas said employees should have Good Friday off. He asked how much it would cost to add a 12th holiday.

Tom Garrett, the county’s assistant manager, said there would be no additional cost to the county. Emergency workers who work holidays get another day off in exchange.

The commissioners voted unanimously to add the extra date.

County holidays this fiscal year include: July 4, Labor Day, Veterans Day (Nov. 11), Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (half day), Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, New Year’s Day, MLK Day, Good Friday (April 3) and Memorial Day.

Earlier in July, the commissioners approved a budget for the coming year giving most county employees merit raises based on years of service. For employees hired in 2008 or earlier, the raises could reach 2 percent. Those hired between 2009 and 2011 could receive up to 1 percent in raises. The increase does not apply to those hired after 2011.

Also, the budget eliminated five furlough days employees had to take last year.