Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge City Commission votes to give City employees vaccine incentives, approves alley closure on East Walker

Breckenridge City Commission votes to give City employees vaccine incentives, approves alley closure on East Walker
November 09
18:43 2021

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

At their monthly meeting last week, the Breckenridge City Commissioners approved an administrative policy creating an incentive program for City of Breckenridge employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The commissioners also held a public hearing during the meeting on Nov. 1 concerning the closing of the alley in the 800 block of East Walker Street for the construction of a new Allsup’s convenience store, and they approved a program to provide roll-off dumpsters to property owners who are demolishing sub-standard structures.

Vaccine Incentive

The City of Breckenridge’s new Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policy serves two main purposes: (1) to provide paid quarantine leave to full-time employees who have been fully vaccinated, and (2) to provide additional personal holiday hours as an incentive to employees who are currently vaccinated or who choose to become fully vaccinated.

Breckenridge City Commissioner Rob Durham addresses an issue under discussion during the Nov. 1 city commission meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The policy was created at the request of the commissioners and is based on similar policies for the City of Abilene and the City of Pflugerville.

The policy offers 8 to 24 hours of personal holiday time to employees, depending on when they were or will be vaccinated against COVID-19. The policy has the following four-tiered plan:

  • Employees who were fully vaccinated prior to November 2, 2021,  will receive 24 hours of personal holiday time in recognition of receiving their vaccination and helping to ensure the safety of their fellow employees, their families, and the community. This time will be added to their accounts and available for use beginning November 15, 2021.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated prior to November 2, 2021, but who choose to become fully vaccinated prior to January 10, 2022, will receive 16 hours of personal holiday time. This time will be added to their accounts and available for use beginning January 17,2022.
  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated prior to November 2, 2021, but who choose to become fully vaccinated after January 10, 2022 will still be eligible to receive 8 hours of personal holiday time.
  • Employees hired after November 2, 2021, who are already fully vaccinated, or who choose to become fully vaccinated within 60 days of their start date, will receive an additional 8 hours of personal holiday time.

Employees may use sick time hours for time spent obtaining a vaccine during the employee’s regular work schedule in accordance with City policy.

Additionally, the new policy covers the topic of quarantine for employees who test positive for COVID-19 or who are exposed to someone who has the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus. According to the policy, employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been notified by the human resources department of an exposure at work, will be required to quarantine.

If required to quarantine, employees who are fully vaccinated will receive paid quarantine sick leave (up to two weeks) and will not be required to use their personal sick time or other paid leave time to cover the quarantine period if they have submitted proof of vaccination. If required to quarantine, employees who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be required to use their personal sick time to cover their quarantine. If they do not have adequate sick time, they must use other paid leave time. To the extent the employee does not have adequate sick or other paid leave time, the quarantine period will be unpaid.

According to the policy, employees are not required to provide proof of vaccination status. However, to be eligible to receive the vaccination incentive or paid quarantine leave as part of the voluntary initiative, documentation is required.

New Allsup’s Location

Greg Penman, representing Allsup’s Convenience Stores and its parent company Yesway, was present for the public hearing regarding the closing of the alleyway in the eastern two-thirds of the 800 block of East Walker Street, which is located between Camden and Dubois avenues and Elm and Walker streets. The site will be the location of a new Allsup’s store.

The project had been approved by the City of Breckenridge’s Planning and Zoning Commission last month, and the Board of Commissioners approved the request after the public hearing.

Additionally, later in the meeting, the commissioners agreed to pay the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation one-third of the cost to move to the sewer lines from the area that had been in the alley.

Property Clean-up Incentive

The commissioners agreed to partner with the Economic Development Corporation and provide roll-off dumpsters to property owners who are tearing down a dilapidated structure. City Manager Erika McComis emphasized that one requirement of the property owners is that they agree to re-build on the property.

“I want to make sure that it’s properties that they’re going to build something back on,” she said. “I don’t want it to be a property that they’re gonna tear it down and not do anything, because we need some stimulation to the economy. And it’s to build the look of the town and everything moving forward. So that will be the stipulation of moving forward is that that they will remove it and they will replace it with a residential structure or a commercial structure.”

Additionally, the property owners will be able to apply for a matching grant from the EDC of up to $5,000 to assist with the demolition.

“So the EDC and the city have partnered with this program, and it’s worked really well,” McComis said. “And we’re excited to have it moving forward.”

Each dumpster will cost the City about $700, and McComis estimates there will be about 30 demolitions each year.

Other business

During the meeting, the commissioners also took the following action:

  • Voted against a proposal to replace playground equipment at the City Park. Although they agreed that the equipment needs to be replaced, they want to see if they can find additional grants to help pay for it.
  • Voted to appoint Commissioner Rob Durham to the Stephens County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
  • Approved a plan to offer telehealth services to all full-time and part-time City of Breckenridge employees.
  • Voted to revert the pay of those appointed as interim city managers back to their previous salaries.

City of Breckenridge Public Services Director Stacy Harrison explains to the commissioners the condition of the playground equipment in the City Park. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Breckenridge City Commissioner Vince Moore comments on an item under consideration during the recent meeting. Also pictured is commissioner Gary Mercer. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Breckenridge City Commissioner Gary Mercer and Mayor Bob Sims listen to explanations during the Nov. 1 meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge City Manager Erika McComis, center, explains an agenda item to the city commissioners at this month’s regular meeting. Also pictured are Diane Latham, assistant city secretary, and Breckenridge City Attorney Eileen Hayman. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Nov. 10,2021, to correct the date of the meeting.


The Breckenridge Texan is in the midst of our annual fundraising campaign with the national organization NewsMatch. Donations made through the end of December will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by NewsMatch. The Breckenridge Texan is a non-profit news website covering Stephens County and Breckenridge, Texas, that depends on donations, as well as advertising, to continue our work. We appreciate your contributions. To make a donation, click here.


 

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