The Port Orange City Council voted 3-1 to pass a revised shopping cart ordinance on second reading.
The Port Orange City Council voted 3-1 on Tuesday, Dec. 18, to pass a revised shopping cart ordinance on second reading that makes business retailers responsible for signage and retrieving shopping carts that are found off property. Councilman Chase Tramon voted against the ordinance for a second time.
Deputy City Attorney Matt Jones noted that the original ordinance was changed to specify that retailers with 20 or more shopping carts were the establishments of concern. The revised ordinance made a process for exception for those establishments that take responsibility for shopping cart retrieval.
Mayor Don Burnette stated that many businesses do a great job taking care of their carts and are concerned about this issue as well. He noted that Publix is very good about taking care of their property. The ordinance is about those places that are continually irresponsible.
City Councilman Scott Stiltner reinforced that he wants city streets to be maintained, saying the council doesn't want them "dumped all over the city." Councilman Drew Bastian restated that the issue is about carts being removed from store property. Tramont agreed with the ordinance's principles, but did not want to mandate it.
The ordinance included a plan for alerting businesses about carts that are found around the city. If repeated attempts to contact the stores go with no response, a plan that limits carts from leaving the retail lot will be imposed. One idea being looked into is coin-operated carts, which was also suggested as a solution to the problem Port Orange resident Steven Kleid.
Kleid addressed council with his belief that stores should not be made responsible for an individual taking a shopping cart. In that case, he said it is the individual who shoplifted and should be found and prosecuted under the law.
Keid talked about Big Lots and Save-A-Lot being next door to one another. He said he saw Big Lot carts all over the parking lot and no Save-A-Lot carts. He thought it was because Save A Lot implemented a 25 cent shopping cart fee that is refunded to the customer once the cart is returned to the store.
Keid said he thought people wanted to get their money back, and that he was told the homeless sometimes take shopping carts.
William Litsch, another Port Orange resident, was worried that individuals with handicaps needed to be able to take carts outside of stores. His mother is disabled and cannot move without holding on to a cart, he explained. If she cannot hold onto the cart, she cannot get to or from the store.