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Council To Consider COVID Vaccine Payments

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Council To Consider COVID Vaccine Payments

Cookeville City Council will consider a plan Thursday night to pay city employees $50 to get a COVID vaccine.

The plan would cost the city no more than $25,000, including payments to those who have already been vaccinated. City Manager James Mills said he wants to encourage those on the fence.

“I had several directors come to me and ask, ‘can we do some type of incentive to help encourage people.’” Mills said. “We should do everything we can to encourage people to get vaccinated. I think you guys agree with me on this, that the more we can get vaccinated, the better off we’re all going to be. And I think this is a small price to pay.”

Council Member Mark Miller suggested sweetening the pot further to $100. Mills said the council could consider that, but he thought the $50 bonus was appropriate.

“I also want to stress over and over again, this is completely voluntary,” Mills said. “We’re not making you get the vaccine if you’re adamantly opposed to that. But if we can encourage some.”

Mills said he has also discussed with the health department bringing vaccination teams to city hall to administer the vaccine.

This would be the third financial incentive provided to city employees since 2010. The Council implemented a health and wellness program for the city, providing certain insurance discounts for those employees who meet certain criteria.

Some 450 people work for the city, Mills said. Council will vote on the idea Tuesday night.


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