Grand Lake passes mask requirement, approves asphalt for Streetscape project
On Monday, Grand Lake became the third town in Grand County to mandate masks in public places as town leaders said they were making the move to better protect local businesses.
Like Winter Park and Fraser, which both passed emergency mask requirements last week, Grand Lake wanted to take the onus off local businesses, send a message about mask usage and set an expectation that guests shouldn’t come to the mountains trying to escape mask requirements.
The town trustees passed the emergency ordinance 5-1 with potential penalties including fines of $50 for a first offense and up to $250 fines for a second offense. Hardline enforcement seems unlikely based on Monday’s discussions, however.
“There is some evidence that I have heard from other towns that people are … actually looking where the laws are lax because they don’t want to be scofflaws but they don’t want to wear their mask,” Mayor Steve Kudron said. “I can tell you, (Grand Lake) is so much more alive than anywhere in Denver … Now, I know people are going to continue to come up here, but we have to let our visitors know that masks are important up here, and I think that’s the message this ordinance really sends.
“It isn’t about taking down our locals. It’s really about sharing that respect for our community with our visitors and among ourselves.”
While Winter Park and Fraser have already passed mask requirements and recommendations remain in place, county commissioners have refrained from embracing a countywide mask mandate.
In other business:
• The board approved a United Construction contract addendum to pave Park Avenue with four-inch asphalt instead of chipseal for the Streetscape project. The change will increase the cost from the previously approved $1.58 million to $1.89 million.
The decision came largely as a result of timing, the anticipated life of the road, improved town finances and news that chipseal would cost about $200,000 more than originally anticipated.
During discussions, it was mentioned that asphalt would have about a 30-year lifespan, opposed to seven years for chipseal. Also, it requires a higher temperature to install chipseal than asphalt. The anticipated installation would have come in the fall, so the town was also weighing having to wait until next year for chipseal against the potential of being able to lay asphalt this year.
According to Town Manager John Crone, Grand Lake’s finances are looking like they will be in a much better position than town staff were anticipating when COVID-19 first struck, and that too was a driving force behind the decision to upgrade.
While the cost of the project has increased, the town manager said on Monday that the “worst case scenario” is the town might have to dip into its capital improvement fund for a couple hundred thousand dollars.
“That would be absolute worst case scenario,” Crone reiterated Tuesday over the phone, adding that there are few guarantees with construction but the town has “no intention” of cutting into the fund.
Additionally, there is a chance Grand Lake could save about $200,000 on the project, Crone added, as core samples have indicated crews may only have to replace about half as much of the ground road base as originally thought.
• Grand Lake approved the hiring of Lisa Watkins as town treasurer and passed a resolution allowing her access to the town’s financial information and accounts.
• The board approved a new liquor license allowing the World’s End Brewpub in Grand Lake to produce alcohol on-site. The move was framed a benefit for both the business and the town.
• The board agreed to buy a mobile message sign, like the ones drivers see on the side the highway, to keep locals and guests up-to-date on important information such as fire hazards and construction warnings. The sign would come with radar and cost $18,900.
• Grand Lake will start requiring businesses to have wildlife resistant trash containers as of Sept. 1 and residents to have them by March 31, 2021. This is only if the customer has at-home garbage pickup. People who use programs like Pay as You Throw won’t see any changes related to this move.
• The town also OK’d a change of location for Pay as You Throw, moving it to the town lots on Center Drive next to the car wash.
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The Grand Lake Fire Protection District has abandoned a voter-approved effort to run its own EMS transports as the department and county officials re-evaluate how that service might be provided.