At their meeting on Wednesday evening, July 1, the Town of Fraser Board of Trustees talked at great length on being able to move forward into the state’s Protect Your Neighbor phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Town Manager Jeff Durbin explained the process is similar to the county’s variance request submitted in May. There are a lot of criteria the county would need to meet, but if approved, would allow more control at the local level.
Grand County Public Health is on the precipice of receiving a $360k grant from the state for COVID-19-related personnel expenses to enhance the county’s ability to contact trace, a key factor in the county’s ability to move to the next phase. The trustees unanimously approved a draft of a letter of support for the grant.
During discussion, the trustees talked about the challenges local businesses are faced with in enforcing face mask requirements. Proven to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, most businesses in town have imposed the requirements, yet resistance by some customers continues to be an issue.
Town Manager Jeff Durbin said, “A lot more businesses are asking the town to require masks. Winter Park is considering that next week. If it’s countywide, everyone knows the rules.” Both Durbin and Mayor Philip Vandernail stated they did not believe the county commissioners would pass a countywide mask ordinance. “The bottom line is, if there are cases in Kremmling, Granby or unincorporated Grand County, we can still get shut down,” observed Durbin.
Trustee Parnell Quinn asked, “What about enforcement? What would a fine look like (for noncompliance)?”
“Businesses say you can wear your mask or you can’t come in,” said Trustee Katie Soles.
“I am hearing from employees that would like it across the board,” said Durbin.
“Icebox Sports has been very careful from the get go,” said Trustee Andy Miller. “They have sanitizing stations and masks at both entries, yet they still struggle to enforce the mask requirement. Deb (Muenster) has tasked me with asking that we mandate a town requirement to wear face masks, and I would be strongly in favor of passing a mask requirement.”
“I think it’s going to help,” said Mayor Vandernail.
“We could be the leaders, again,” said Soles.
In the spirit of collaboration with the Town of Winter Park, who are anticipated to consider an emergency ordinance on Tuesday, July 7, the trustees asked staff to prepare a draft of a mask ordinance and schedule a special meeting on Tuesday, July 7, to consider passage of a mask requirement, which, if approved, would take effect immediately.