The committee did extensive outreach to landscapers. There is no list of landscapers in town-Lexington does not issue permits for landscaping - so we used 7 sources to compile a list of nearly 60 firms that do business in town. We invited them to two 2-hour meetings that were devoted entirely to getting their input (in April and early May). We made substantial changes to the proposal as a result. These are described in my June presentation to the Select Board, which I'll attach and which you are free to share.
As noted in that presentation, we postponed consideration of a possible phase-out of GLBs because several landscapers said they needed more time to analyze and comment on this. We therefore invited them to submit comments until August 31, approximately 4 months later. Virtually none did.
Re costs: many of the figures in the discussion now are simple speculation, offered in some cases by people with no first-hand experience. We primarily relied on two sources for cost information: the American Green Zone Alliance, a national organization that assists communities in making the transition to cleaner electric equipment, and some local landscapers with first-hand experience working battery-powered blowers.
The information we obtained indicates that initial costs to landscapers are higher-something we have consistently noted in presentations-largely because of the cost of batteries, but that lifetime costs are lower because of lower energy costs and much lower maintenance costs. Costs for residents are very hard to estimate because it depends not only on lot size and the number of trees, but also on factors like the species (maples are less of an issue than oaks because their leaves fall earlier) and the slope of the property.
However, it is the case that some residents would experience a modest increase in costs because battery powered blowers are not as powerful as the noisiest GLBs and therefore can require more labor. From what we could gather, the cost increase for a fall cleanup could range from nothing at all (my experience, and the experience of one of the Select Board members) to as much as 30%. As one of the landscapers pointed out, this is much more of an issue in towns like Lincoln, where lots are very large, than in Lexington.