BECKLEY, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – During Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Beckley City Council read a resolution for a proposed remote workers program which, if passed, would allow the city to pay remote workers $5,000 to acclimate to life in Raleigh County.
This remote worker program, with the goal of bringing more residents to the county, would be held in partnership with the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce (BRCCC) and would allow the City of Beckley to create a $50,000 fund specifically for the program. The program’s funds would be dispersed over a five-year period.
While Mayor Rob Rappold stated that the program would be a great way to bring workers into the area, several council members disagreed.
Ward III Councilman Robert Dunlap was perhaps one of the most outspoken members of council regarding the program and expressed his concerns which revolved around the program’s possible funds being better used somewhere else within the county.
While opinions on the program were split inside City Hall, several members of the community participated in the public comments section of the meeting to voice their concerns.
Beckley Human Rights Commission Chair Danielle Stewart was one of these citizens. Stewart pointed out that while one of these remote workers is riding their new bike around town, which they paid for using the incentive money, they’ll have to ride past a mural that hasn’t been repainted in years and avoid the many potholes in the road that have yet to be fixed.
Despite these concerns, BRCCC CEO Michelle Rotellini says they have already received 2,000 applications from interested workers.
When taken to a vote, council passed the first reading of the proposal four to three. A second and final reading will be held during a future meeting.
Stay with Lootpress as this story develops.