Breckenridge passes ordinance requiring masks |

Breckenridge passes ordinance requiring masks

People wait in line to enter City Market in Breckenridge on Wednesday, April 29. To minimize the spread of the new coronavirus, nobody is allowed to enter the store without a protective face mask.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE — At a special Breckenridge Town Council meeting Tuesday, council members unanimously passed an emergency ordinance requiring the use of masks or facial coverings in situations where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. The ordinance took effect immediately and will stay in place until Mayor Eric Mamula declares the public health emergency is over. 

Town Manager Rick Holman introduced the ordinance, explaining that while this is already a countywide requirement, the ordinance allows Breckenridge police officers to issue citations to those who do not follow the rule. If ticketed by police, the first offense is $50, the second is $250, and the third and subsequent offenses are $500 each. 

Holman said the penalty could be carried out if a person comes into a business without wearing a mask and the business owner asks the person to leave. If the person refuses, the owner can call the police, who then can ticket the individual. However, Holman added that citations are at the discretion of the police department. 

Council member Dick Carleton pointed out that businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone given that the refusal is not discriminatory toward a protected class.

Mamula said the ordinance would come down to private businesses deciding what is best for their employees. 

“I don’t know how we’re going to handle this,” Mamula said. “Let’s not enact an ordinance if we don’t feel that we can truly enforce it.”

Council members Erin Gigliello, Kelly Owens and Dennis Kuhn all agreed that the ordinance should be enforced if passed. 

“I would like there to at the very least be police officers who are engaged on Main Street and ready to say, ‘Sorry, it’s busy down here. You’ve got to have something over your nose and mouth,’” Owens said. 

Gigliello pointed out a citizen comment that suggested the requirement be communicated through the electronic messaging boards in town, which council members agreed should be done.

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