Fraser commits to mask mandate
In response to seeing mixed mask usage in town, Fraser plans to sign an emergency ordinance on Tuesday to mandate mask wearing at public places.
During a discussion about sending a letter of support to the county for increased public health capacity on Wednesday, the Fraser Town Board took coronavirus precautions a step further by committing to sign an ordinance that would likely mandate masks in indoor public places and outdoors when social distancing can’t be followed.
“I’m for it,” Mayor Philip Vandernail said. “I get asked almost daily, as the mayor, about (mask usage).”
A special meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday and the ordinance would take effect immediately upon being signed. On Thursday, the ordinance hadn’t yet been written.
Town Manager Jeff Durbin and other board members all spoke about local businesses and employees who raised concerns with them about enforcing mask usage in their businesses.
“I’m hearing from some of our business employees at Safeway, Murdoch’s, that employees would like it to be across the board so it’s easy for them to deal with,” Durbin said.
Board members agreed it would help if the town backed a mandate that everyone would have to follow.
“At least the store can say it’s required by us and gives them the authority to pass it off on the town,” Trustee Andy Miller said. “It gives them something to fall back on.”
However, enforcement of the mandate raised questions, especially if it were to only be a rule within town limits.
In an effort to make the mandate more successful, board members supported the idea of including the town’s mask mandate in its letter to the county so that the county or other towns might follow.
“The thought is, let’s see if the county will do it,” Durbin said. “If it’s countywide, it will be easier for everyone to understand.”
Durbin told the board he’d also reach out to Winter Park to see if the town wanted to collaborate on the mandate so it would be the same across the Fraser Valley.
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