Commission agrees to snow blower request and COVID sick time

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A stock picture from VOHL of the type of blower Commission decided to purchase.

Sault Ste Marie, Mich. – City Commission met for their regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 18, 2021.

The only two issues up for debate were purchasing a snow blower and extending sick time for city workers by an extra 80 hours due to COVID.

The new snowblower would be primarily used at the airport. It will clear the runway so planes can land safely. According to city staff, it will also be used as a back-up to the 11-year-old street snowblower currently in use in the city.

The purchase was approved by the Commission. A Vohl snow blower model V L-275 will be purchased from MTECH for $140,000. Commissioners were impressed it came in $10,000 under budget.

The new sick leave policy is to make up for the fact that the ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act’, is expiring.

The Act required certain employers to provide employees with extra paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 through December 31, 2020

Commission approved a policy to give and incentive to COVID positive employees to stay away from the workplace. The policy allows full-time workers to access 80 extra hours of sick time for the following reasons.

1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID 19;
2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19;

Commissioner Jodi Bosbous-Rath said a lot of employers are looking at a similar policy because COVID is still around.

“People don’t want to bring it back to their place of employment and expose everyone else. So I think it’s necessary to do this myself,” said Bosbous-Rath.

The fiscal impact is unknown on this policy as there is no way to know how many individuals will need to use it in the future.

Both policies were approved unanimously.

The next city commission is scheduled for Feb. 1. They can be accessed virtually by going to the cities website and following the links.