Government should not sell lawn mowers
Borrow the neighbor’s truck and load up your lawn mower. The Polk County Board of Supervisors is having a sale!
Announced last week, residents now have “the opportunity to exchange their highly polluting gasoline powered lawn mower for an environmentally friendly, zero-emission producing, light weight, easy to operate, extremely quiet Neuton® cordless ELECTRIC mower.”
The deal is part of a special arrangement between the Polk County Public Works Department, Metro Waste Authority (MWA), Midwest Recovery and Neuton Mowers.
We are all for working to reduce the amount of ground-level ozone and air pollution in Polk County. And we think it’s great if residents want to exchange their gasoline lawn mowers for cordless electric mowers. But for our board of supervisors to be promoting the sale of any lawn mower is not only odd but inappropriate.
If the county was working with local, tax-paying businesses that sell mowers, we might approve. They are not.
If the electric mowers were manufactured in Polk County, we might understand. They are not.
If the program was somehow Iowa-based, we might even give the thumbs up. It isn’t.
The exchange program was created solely with Neuton Lawn Mower Company, of Vergennes, Vt. Yes, Vermont.
Well, at least the exchange is easy, right? Wrong!
Those wanting to swap mowers must first deliver their operational gas-powered units to Midwest Recovery in Bondurant. A receipt is then provided along with an exchange card for the mower. The participant must then bring the receipt, a photo ID and the exchange card to the Polk County Public Works Department on Des Moines’ north side to obtain the Neuton mower discount voucher. And finally, a phone call to Neuton with a credit card payment will arrange for the mower to be shipped UPS within 10 days. This might explain why only seven exchanges have occurred to date.
There are many reasons to swap a gas mower for an electric option. But when the day comes when we are ready to make that transaction, we would prefer to do so with a local business and without government intervention.CV