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Naples bans gas-powered leaf blowers in the city

Naples City Council approved an ordinance to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in the city Wednesday.

James Meehan loves a quiet afternoon at home, especially during the pandemic.

“We are home virtually every day,” Meehan said. “It’s rare that we go out.”

But his serene days are often interrupted by the sound of leaf blowers.

“And there’s usually a team of them, so it’s not just one person at a property blowing leaves,” Meehan said. “But it’s three or four, so you put all that noise together, and it’s just an annoyance in a very quiet town.”

One year from now, only electric or battery-powered leaf blowers at 65 decibels and under will be allowed within city limits. A vacuum or hair dryer are usually about 70 decibels.

“I think that’s good news for everybody,” Meehan said.

But local landscapers such as Nick Waltbillig disagree.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Waltbillig said.

Waltbillig says he’ll now have to spend about $1,000 dollars more for battery-powered leaf blowers, plus the price of a generator. Those extra costs will fall on the customer.

“They’re not as powerful and you’re gonna have to carry more batteries around,” Waltbillig said. “They don’t last as long, so it’s going to take longer to do a job when you’re there to take care of someone’s property.”

Violating the new ban could result in a $100 dollar fine for a first offense and a $500 fine for each additional offense.

Community members look forward to the change.

“I think this is going to be an improvement for us,” Meehan said.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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