COOPERSTOWN, NY – The great mask debate continued in Cooperstown Monday evening with the village board unanimously approving a local law that would require the use of masks outside in certain portions of the village.
Under the new law, people would be required to wear a mask or face covering while using the sidewalks on Main Street between Fair Street and Pine Boulevard, and on Pioneer Street from Lake to Church Streets.
Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, says the reason for the law is that with outdoor dining and other barriers – like trees and park benches – there just isn’t enough space to maintain proper social distancing.
Prior to the vote, residents voiced their opinions about the proposed law.
“As I understand it,” said Marc Kingsley owner of the Inn at Cooperstown, “New York State already passed a law requiring almost everyone to wear a mask in public. So this proposed law to me is redundant, overreaching, and an overreaction by the Village Board of Trustees.”
Marge Landers of Glen Avenue agreed with the board’s decision.
“We still have an influx of tourists coming in, and I believe that if we don’t do this, we’re going to see a big uptick in cases.”
Still, others voiced concerns about the enforcement of the new law and the amount of the fine that would be levied against those in violation of the law.
Mayor Tillapaugh said signs would soon be posted throughout the village informing the general public of the village’s mask mandate.