The county’s board of commissioners agreed to revise the county’s travel policy to increase the daily food allowance that county staff members receive while they’re on work-related excursions.
Under the proposed change, the county’s per diem would be raised from its current rate of $30 a day to a new rate in line with the figure used by the U.S. General Services Administration. Susan Evans, the county’s finance director, told the commissioners that the GSA’s going rate for travel in North Carolina is currently set at $55 a day or $41.25 for the first and last day of a multi-day trip. She insisted that these figures would be more adequate than the county’s current per diem rate.
“It’s hard for some of our employees,” she added, “depending on where they are going to be sustained by a $30 per diem.”
The county’s finance director has also sought the board’s permission for another policy change that would allow staff members to stay overnight in areas where the county doesn’t currently cover their lodging expenses. This particular revision would permit staff members to book accommodations at multi-day conferences held within Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Granville, Guilford, Lee, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, and Wake counties.
Evans said that overnight accommodations in these counties would allow staff members to take advantage of training opportunities that go longer than 5:00 p.m.
Evans conceded that the county hasn’t witnessed many of these training opportunities since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“We are preparing for when travel does get to happen again,” she added. “When we have staff development opportunities, we’re enriching our employees and bringing that training back to the county.”