MARILLA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Town of Marilla town supervisor is standing firm against a new mask mandate announced by the Erie County executive this week. The mandate was was in response to rising covid rates.

Supervisor Earl Gingerich Jr. says the town government does not plan on complying with the county’s mask mandate. The town plans to file an official complaint against the county.

“Will not comply, or enforce, or participate in this mask mandate. We will defend our businesses’ and our resident’s right to make their own decisions of what’s best for themselves,” said Gingerich. “We’ll tell the county. We urge them not to enter our town to intimidate or harass our businesses or residents. The town of Marilla will use all of its resources to fight back and defend that right.”

The town government feels as though the mandate could hurt their businesses.

“We have small businesses in town and this will put our small businesses out of business,” said Brian Nolan town councilman deputy supervisor. “This has already put a damper on their businesses and we can not move forward with this.”

County Executive Mark Poloncarz was not available for comment. Previously, Poloncarz, the county health commissioner, and local infectious disease experts all stated that masks help reduce the community spread of the coronavirus.

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.