The city of Rowlett will incentivize employees to receive the vaccine through cash bonuses.

The Rowlett City Council approved a vaccine incentive on Tuesday for active city employees through $500 bonuses.

Human Resources Director Richard Jones said employees will have until Nov. 30 to receive their first vaccine. The bonus will come from American Rescue Plan Funds.

“This is an incentive, not a mandate,” Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian said.

City Manager Brian Funderburk said the incentive is geared toward those who are on the fence about receiving the vaccine.

City Council members agreed that employees who choose not to receive the vaccine or are unable to due to medical conditions will not be forced to receive the vaccine, nor will they be penalized.

“Everybody has a right – if they don’t want to get the vaccine, don’t get it,” Mayor Pro Tem Matt Grubisich said. “But please don’t go and spew false information about it. I do agree that everyone should do their own research and make that decision for themselves.”

Jones said the incentive comes from the fact that Dallas County sees 1,000 COVID cases each day, and at least city 117 employees have gotten COVID-19, and an additional 70 have been disrupted due to a family member catching the virus.

Councilmember Brownie Sherill said neither City Council members nor the mayor will benefit from the incentive.

During the meeting, each councilmember said they had been vaccinated.

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