Three more months for Basalt face masks

The Basalt Town Council late Tuesday voted unanimously to extend the town’s face covering ordinance for at least three more months to Oct. 27. This was the third continuation of an order first passed on May 1 — and which was due to expire this week.

The orders have been reviewed on a monthly basis. The longer time frame during this third review came at the suggestion of Basalt Town Manager Ryan Mahoney.

Elected officials and Mahoney said Tuesday the evidence continues to emerge about how face coverings are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Bill Kane weighed in that he had recently read an article that spoke of how the benefits to the mask-wearer include reducing “the potency and volume of virus you’re exposed to.”

Councilman Glenn Drummond said, “I personally think we’re dealing with this for two years.”

Kane retorted, “Can we do it 90 days at a time, Glenn?”

The resolution mandates face coverings for persons over the age of 2 while entering and inside a place of business and in public indoor and outdoor spaces where safe social distancing (the 6-foot rule) from those in unrelated households is not possible.

Per the ordinance, businesses may deny entry to those not in compliance with the public health order.

Town Attorney Jeff Conklin reiterated to council that the 6-foot rule “is the overarching element to all of this. If you can’t social distance, you’re required to wear a face mask.”

He said the distancing requirements apply whether one works in a restaurant kitchen or an office. 

Basalt Area Gives announces awards

The Basalt Area Gives Fund at Aspen Community Foundation announced this week it has awarded a total of $62,500 in grants to nonprofit organizations serving the greater Basalt area.

“These grants were made possible by contributions made during the Basalt Area Gives campaign in 2019 and a contribution from the town of Basalt to provide support to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a news release from the organization states.

An advisory committee of residents and business leaders determined the recipients. Nonprofits serving youth, families and seniors were supported along with efforts that to increase the vibrancy of Basalt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following organizations received funding: A Little Help, Family Resource Center of the Roaring Fork Schools, FocusedKids, Growing Years School, Mountain Family Health Centers, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, Summit54, The Arts Campus at Willits and Valley Settlement.

The Basalt Area Gives Fund also is supporting the upcoming screening of a documentary that highlights the life of Basalt High School student Tyler Ribich, who passed away last year.