LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Should it be illegal to release helium balloons in Lubbock? NewsChannel 11 broke the story over the weekend that the city council will consider a proposal on Wednesday to make balloon releases illegal. The sponsor, Councilman Paul Beane, says each balloon released eventually becomes litter when it comes back down to the ground.
Under the proposed rules, you could still release up to 10 bio-degradable balloons as long as the attachments are also bio-degradable. Two of Beane's colleagues on the council have differing opinions on this proposal.
Councilman Todd Klein agrees with Beane. He says, "With mylar balloons or non-biodegradable balloons, large scale releases create an issue for livestock, wildlife, pets, perhaps even a litter issue."
And Councilman Floyd Price disagrees. Price says, "It just seems like one thing that's not important to me. Kids are so used to having fun. You can't take away everything from everyone."
Shawn Vandygriff with the South Plains Child Abuse Coalition recently organized a 1,500 balloon release. "So, we're gonna have to come up with a way to have a huge impact the way we did with the balloons for the number of victims we'll have next year," she says. "We'll just have to put our thinking caps on to come up with a different idea."
Beane is not unsympathetic to Vandygriff and those who represent other worthy causes. "The folks that release balloons, they represent wonderful causes. I just think there are alternate ways to honor the different projects that they have in mind," says Beane.
Beane is concerned that he does not have the votes to get his proposal passed, but he says he's seen busted balloons and their attached strings as far away as Floyd and Crosby Counties.
Below is the one-page proposal so you can read it for yourself.
Agenda Item 6.6
Ordinance 1st Reading - City Council: Consider an ordinance amending Chapter 23 of the Code of Ordinances with regard to the intentional release of balloons filled with lighter than air gas within the City of Lubbock.
The intentional release of balloons filled with lighter than air gas creates litter, a safety and fire hazard, and a danger to wildlife and livestock when such balloons and any attachments ultimately fall back to earth.
In the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of Lubbock citizens, the amendment to the Code of Ordinances adds a section, to be numbered 23-34, which reads as follows:
Sec. 23-34. Intentional Balloon Releases.
(a) No person shall intentionally release or cause to be released outdoors:
(1) any balloon made of a non-biodegradable material filled with a lighter than air gas;
(2) any balloon made of an electrically conductive material filled with a lighter than air gas; or
(3) more than 10 balloons made of a biodegradable material filled with a lighter than air gas at one time.
(b) Biodegradable balloons that are attached to any non-biodegradable material or electrically conductive material shall not intentionally be released outdoors.
(c) It shall be an exception to this section that balloons are released by a governmental agency for a governmental purpose.
Paul R. Beane, Councilman District 4
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Balloon release might soon be illegal in Lubbock
The city council proposes this Wednesday to make balloon releases illegal.