Special session on leaf-blower ban Oct. 10

Following a citizen’s petition, selectmen Monday scheduled a Special Town Meeting next month to reconsider a seasonal ban on gas-powered leaf blowers that was approved in May. The board voted to schedule the meeting for Oct. 10, and the warrant will be open for the submittal of other articles Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the selectmen’s office. 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 each year based on 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 residents voted to overturn the ban, the measure fell 241 votes shy of a state requirement for reversing a Town Meeting decision. Last month, selectmen formed a committee to consider restrictions on leaf blowers instead of an outright ban, with a timetable that would offer an alternate proposal to Town Meeting next spring.

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