Excelsior Council approves free mask campaign

The City of Excelsior will provide free masks for businesses to give out to customers. Shown in the photo is one of the free mask designs. 

The Excelsior City Council unanimously approved 3,000 masks, not to exceed $15,000, at the July 20 regular meeting. The masks will be paid through CARES Act Funding, said Councilmember Greg Miller, who is heading the effort on the free mask campaign

The city’s campaign was approved days before Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order that mandates Minnesotans wear masks in public indoor spaces. The mandate went into effect July 25.

There are strong feelings both for and against masks, Miller said. The intention is to make the masks look cool, which will encourage people to wear them. The city will promote itself with its sailboat logo on the masks.

“We wanted to make it more positive,” he said.

Miller has been working with Northstar Apparel Company in Hopkins, which put together samples. They started with 12 options and are down to three designs that the city will order, he said.

The masks will primarily have ear loops, but some will be neck gaiters. The city will receive the masks in the next few weeks, when city officials will begin giving them to businesses. It’s estimated that Excelsior has between 2,000 and 4,000 visitors every weekend, so they’ll go through the masks quickly, he said.

In the campaign’s next phase, Miller hopes to gain partnerships with local businesses or organizations that want to sponsor mask purchases. The masks have space that allows for branding and marketing of those who want to participate.

More than masks

Miller would like to add a donation component to the campaign. It would be informal, he said, adding people who take a mask would be encouraged to drop a couple dollars into a jar to support the Excelsior Fire District and South Lake Minnetonka Police Department.

Contact Miller at gmiller@excelsiormn.org about sponsorship information or receiving masks for distribution.

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