Moundsville Council OKs $500 COVID-19 Vaccination Bonus for City Employees
Moundsville City Council authorized a resolution Tuesday granting a $500 bonus to any city employee who shows proof of receiving their COVID-19 vaccination.
Other options for the vaccine incentive, such as vacation time, were floated, with the $500 dollar amount ultimately decided at last week’s finance subcommittee meeting. Council approved the measure unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting. Funding for the program is provided through the federal American Rescue Plan.
Council member Sara Wood had addressed the matter at the finance meeting, and said the $500 bonus was a group decision, which came after discussion between city leaders.
“We knew that we wanted to incentivize vaccines in some way and encourage our employees to be vaccinated, to assist in increasing the county’s rate of vaccine, and the state’s rate,” Wood said after the meeting. “We had a discussion on whether that incentive would be an additional vacation day, a financial incentive, we looked at what other cities were doing across the state of West Virginia. … We looked at a couple of different levels — $250, $500, and beyond — and we decided to go with $500.
“One specific area that is specified in American Rescue (Plan) funds is to use a portion of that money to incentivize vaccines,” Wood said. “We felt like we were doing our part with that ARPA funding to do that.”
The bonus is available to anyone employed full- or part-time by the city. Elected officials, contracted or subcontracted workers, consultants or volunteers are not eligible. The bonus is available to those who were already vaccinated, as well as to those who become vaccinated after the passage of the resolution. This remains in effect until the resolution is undone through future council action.
Administrative secretary Kim Scarbin said employees may provide their card at the city building, where a copy will be made for municipal records. Payments are expected to be doled out in a monthly batch.
The resolution states that the city recognizes a person’s personal freedom to decide to vaccinate and medicate, and that the resolution is a means to encourage vaccination, rather than mandate or punish.
In other council matters, the city voted unanimously to reject bids that had come in over budget for the proposed new municipal building. Council did not address the matter further Tuesday, but comments at the finance meeting the previous week indicated that the bids had come in more than $3 million over what was initially estimated.
Additionally, council awarded a bid to EdgeCo Inc. to demolish the former Sanford Center. The bid amount was $190,150. City Manager Rick Healy said the site would be left in a build-ready state.