AUSTELL, Ga. -- The Austell City Council decided Monday night to pay city employees $5 for each day they exercise one hour at the city's 24-hour-a-day gym.
Mayor Joe Jerkins said he proposed the plan due to the city's rising health insurance costs. Healthcare coverage for 100 employees will cost the Cobb County city about $1 million this year, he said. He expects that as employees get healthier, they will be filing fewer health insurance claims.
The measure passed 5-0.
Jerkins said he doesn't expect all 100 city employees to participate and estimates the city's cost at $50,000 each year.
Currently, he said, about 40 of the 100 employees are using the new, $100,000 city hall gym.
The cash bonuses begin immediately, and will be paid in December of each year.