East Hills Board of Trustees defers action on leafblowers

East Hills Board of Trustees defers action on leafblowers
(Left to right) East Hills Deputy Mayor Emanuel Zuckerman, Mayor Michael Koblenz, Trustees Brian Meyerson, Clara Pomerantz, and Stacy Siegel. (Photo by John Nugent)


A proposal for restrictions on gas-powered leaf blowers is under consideration by the Village of East Hills Board of Trustees.

Concerns about air and noise pollution emanating from the gas blowers have been raised by village residents.

Mayor Michael Koblenz opened discussion of the issue at a village board meeting last Wednesday by saying, “I think it’s a great idea but I just don’t think the technology is there for cordless blowers to properly service the residents.”

David Galante, the village parks director, noted the difference between needing a heavy-duty gas-powered blower to move grass clippings during the summer months versus clearing away heavy piles of leaves in the fall.

“Heavy-duty battery-powered blowers are much more expensive than gas blowers,” said Galante. He added that the higher cost will be passed on to the customers.

Village Attorney Bill Burke suggested inviting some landscapers to a board meeting to explain why they need to use gas-powered blowers to service residential properties.

Burke raised the question of whether restrictions should apply to commercial as well as residential properties. Koblenz said that both would have to be subject to any new rules because some commercial properties border on residential areas.

The board agreed to table the issue pending further study of how restrictions are working in other communities. Also, the mayor would like input from experts on the technology of gas and other kinds of blowers as well as from residents in the community.

In an unrelated matter, the board approved an expenditure of $781,325 for fire protection services that will be provided by two Roslyn fire companies.

A contract was enacted between the village and Rescue Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 of Roslyn and Roslyn Highlands Hook and Ladder Engine and Hose Company of Roslyn Heights.

The one-year agreement covers the period January through December 2022.

Trustee Stacy Siegel presented a proposal for construction of a splash pad at the village pool.

Siegel described a splash pad as a soft cushioned ground cover with water shooting upward that children can run through. The plan is to place it in the kiddie pool area near the playground.

“We are looking for something new and exciting” said Siegel, referring to the limits in place over the past two years due to the COVID pandemic.

The board has a proposal in hand for the installation of a new splash pad at a cost of $181,000, said Siegel. However, the board would like to consider the additional costs for landscaping, fencing and improvements to the kiddie pool as part of the project. Further study and discussion of the matter will be conducted before moving forward, said the mayor.

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