In response to numerous complaints about noise and dust pollution, the City Council voted 4 to 1 to ban gasoline-powered leaf blowers as of Feb. 1.
But the council agreed to permit the restricted use of electric and battery-operated blowers, which reportedly produce a less abrasive sound at a lower decibel level. They may be operated from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Councilman Algird Leiga voted against the ban, saying he was unsure that the benefits to the environment would offset the economic hardship for self-employed gardeners. Mayor Nicholas Presecan, calling the situation "no-win," said he voted for the ban with reluctance.
The ban came after an hourlong public hearing during which most speakers opposed the blowers. The city, following a July recommendation from its Community Services Commission, prohibits all blowers on municipal property. Vacuums are used instead.
Councilwoman Judy Wright said the ban was necessary because professional gardeners and implement manufacturers had failed to police themselves.