Council Moves Forward on Voluntary Use of Non-Gas-Powered Landscape Equipment

by SC Staff Writer Jan Holly

City Council approved a resolution encouraging individuals and businesses “to voluntarily use environmentally-friendly alternatives to gas-powered landscaping equipment, including electric and battery equipment, in addition to manual tools.” The resolution passed easily, and with no public comment, at council’s meeting Jan. 7 at City Hall.

City Attorney John Agnew described the resolution as “a piggy-back to the ordinance” implemented [last month] that restricts gas-powered blowers’ hours of usage. It was endorsed by Councilmen Jason Maughan and Richard Johnson.

“We do not have a consensus at this time to restrict everything,” Maughan said. “The [resolution] is saying that if we want to do this, we should do it ourselves, by making decisions in our own lives. It’s a way for Council to telegraph a behavior without punishing citizens.”

Johnson echoed Maughan’s sentiments. “If we want to do more, let’s start in the community. This is a way for us to collectively stand together to move in that direction,” he said.

Maughan called the resolution an “aspirational document. We are addressing the concerns of those who want to move forward [toward further noise and pollution reduction].”

Vice-Mayor Mick Denham acknowledged using an electric-powered blower on his own property. “It has significantly less noise than gas-powered blowers and doesn’t create pollution. It is aspirational that Council has resolved to support environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Mayor Kevin Ruane praised the resolution as “great. Technology hasn’t reached the point where it needs to be. The intent is a step in the direction in the elimination of noise pollution completely.”

Johnson concurred that “we need a step-by-step approach. I want to see our citizenry make decisions about what they do personally, and how they contract with landscapers to bring about change.”

The resolution was unanimously approved.

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