Snowmass Town Council to review mandatory mask ordinance next week

In the last 10 minutes of its over three-hour regular meeting Monday, Snowmass Town Council asked town staff to draft an emergency mandatory mask ordinance for council to review at a special meeting next week.

Council members suggested the ordinance require people in public areas of Snowmass Village — namely the three major public nodes of town including the Snowmass Center, Snowmass Mall and Snowmass Base Village — to wear a mask whether they are inside or outside.

“I’m all for it,” Councilman Bob Sirkus said. Both he and Mayor Markey Butler said they saw “spotty compliance” with the existing county mask order in Snowmass over the weekend.

The mandatory mask ordinance suggestion for Snowmass Village comes three days after the city of Aspen’s “mask zone” went into effect, which requires people to wear a mask at all times while in the town’s busiest public areas. Pitkin County Board of Health also voted last week to mandate that people wear masks outside when they are around other people not in their household, which went into effect last Thursday.

The majority of Snowmass Town Council expressed consensus around issuing some sort of mandatory mask requirement in the village. Members said it would create more consistency between mask wearing expectations in Snowmass and Aspen, but acknowledged that they don’t want Snowmass Police to be overwhelmed with enforcing it.

“It could become a little bit tricky because you don’t want to overburden your staff trying to chase down people with masks,” Councilman Bill Madsen said.

“But I do think it’s a guest-relations thing and if we’re going to require it we should make sure that the people who are out there enforcing it have masks to hand out to people and really use it as an opportunity to help educate people and just let them know if you’re in our community, this is what we expect and please do join us.”

Snowmass Town Council will review the emergency mandatory mask ordinance prepared by town staff at a special meeting Aug. 10 at 4 p.m.

For more information on what council discussed during the rest of its regular meeting Monday, read Wednesday’s edition of the Snowmass Sun.

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