Commission approves vaccine program, along with bonuses and minimum wage hike

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Mayor Hardie Davis felt like Augusta got a needed shot in the arm.   

“Good day in Augusta, we have the opportunity to not only save lives, but we also have an opportunity to expand businesses, we have the opportunity to make sure we’re paying people a living wage,” said the mayor.

Commissioners are doing this by approving the Administrator’s plan to spend the first $13M the City expects to receive in American Rescue Act funds.

The funds designated for bonuses for public safety workers and increasing the city minimum wage and creating a $100 vaccine incentive program.

“We have a responsibility to take care of our citizens we have a responsibility that the numbers from this COVID variant go down and the only way that’s going to happen if we get our folks vaccinated,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.

Commissioner Catherine McKnight’s motion to separate the three issues failed.

She said she could support the bonuses and minimum wage, but not money for vaccinations. 

“You can go get vaccinated for free then we’re going to have to pay people to go get vaccinated I wasn’t on board with that from the get-go,” she said.

The city will partner with the Health Department which will provide the shots and handout the gift cards.

“We need to do our job and that’s make policy we’ll let the other folks who handle health, handle heath,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.

“Will people take advantage of a $100 gift card?”

“I believe they will. I believe they will it’s worked in other cities and I’m sure it will work in Augusta as well,” said Commissioner Johnson.

When it comes to creating a vaccine incentive program that work is done for the commissioner.


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