Erie County Council approves resolution to pay county employees to get vaccinated

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Some Erie County employees could soon see extra dollars in their paycheck.

Erie County Council approved a resolution along party lines to pay county employees hundreds of dollars to get vaccinated. The incentive is receiving some criticism.

Here is more about this resolution.

Although the resolution was approved by a four to three vote. Some county residents will voice their concerns during a county council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Erie County employees who receive a COVID vaccine before the end of the year can apply to receive $300.

This incentive is being funded by federal tax dollars. It is the American Rescue Plan.

“It’s not county taxpayer dollars. It’s not coming out of our general funds. It’s coming from that money that is out there for these specific purposes and one is to get more people vaccinated and keep our community vaccinated,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

Roughly $360,000 will be allocated from a 26 million dollar COVID relief plan.

Dahlkemper said that Erie County employees are self insured meaning that their hospital bills are paid by tax payer money.

“It costs our insurance a lot of money and again we are self insured. So by getting more of our employees vaccinated we believe we will actually save county tax payers a lot of money,” said Dahlkemper.

One member of Erie County Council said that despite this incentive already being passed, he believes this money is on all residents in Erie County.

“This money is set aside for all of us in Erie County not just Erie County employees. You know I’m not picking on the Erie County employees, we appreciate everything they do the men and women who came to work during the pandemic. We appreciate that,” said Brian Shank, Erie County Council.

Shank said that instead of incentivizing county employees to receive a vaccine, these funds should be used to help small business owners who struggled during the pandemic.

“We lost 30% of small businesses that will probably never come back. Those are the men and women who need and deserve that money. They put their blood, sweat and tears into their business,” said Shank.

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