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Arlington will reconsider leaf blower ban next month

Posted by Brock Parker  September 11, 2012 10:20 AM

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Following a citizen’s petition, Arlington Selectmen Monday scheduled a Special Town Meeting next month to reconsider a ban of gas-powered leaf blowers approved in May.

The board voted to schedule the Special Town Meeting for Wednesday, October 10, and the warrant for the meeting will be open Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the selectmen’s office, which oversees the warrant.

Town Meeting member Stephen Harrington submitted a petition with enough signatures to trigger the special meeting for the purpose of reconsidering the leaf blower ban, according to Marie Krepelka, the administrator for the Board of Selectmen.

Town Meeting voted 95 to 85 in May to ban gas-powered leaf blowers from May 15 to Oct. 15 of each year because of concerns about noise and potentially harmful debris being kicked into the air by the devices.

Local landscapers gathered more than 1,000 signatures to force a special election in July to reconsider the ban. Although a strong majority of Arlington residents voted to overturn the ban, the opponents to the new law fell 241 votes shy of a state requirement to reverse a vote of Town Meeting.

Last month, selectmen formed a committee to consider alternatives to the ban, but the alternate proposal wasn’t going to go before Town Meeting until the spring of next year.

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