Council bans use and sale of balloons

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 1:15pm

The New Shoreham Town Council voted unanimously (5-0) last night to prohibit the use and sale of all types of balloons on Block Island.

With several members of the community calling for “no balloons,” the Council approved the Planning Board’s recommendation of drafting and enforcing a general ordinance banning balloons on the Island. The ordinance states: “The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the wildlife and coastal ecosystems of Block Island, the enjoyment of nature, and the health, safety, and welfare of Block Island’s residents, and visitors.” According to the ordinance, it will be “unlawful for any person to sell, use or distribute any type of balloon in any manner. including by release into the air.”

The ordinance will go into effect on Monday, April 9, and carry up to a $200 fine that will be enforceable by the New Shoreham Police Department, and adjudicated by the Warden’s Court.

Planning Board Chair Margie Comings, who spearheaded the initiative as part of the Board’s efforts to ban harmful products from the Island, said she received an “astounding” amount of support in favor of the ban. The Town Council on recommendation from the Planning Board banned the use of single-use plastic bags for the retail checkout of goods on the Island in November.

Learn more about this story, and other news in The Block Island Times.