By Bethany Bray
---- — SALEM — The City Council is opting to hold back on an ordinance concerning abandoned shopping carts until the business community has a chance to weigh in.
Council President Jerry Ryan proposed the ordinance after receiving complaints about shopping carts abandoned in his ward, which is near the Stop & Shop supermarket on the Peabody/Salem border.
The proposal would allow public works personnel to collect any shopping cart abandoned on public property for more than 24 hours. Businesses could “redeem” the carts by paying the city’s costs for removal and storage — a maximum of $25 per cart.
Although city councilors have already approved first passage of the shopping cart ordinance, the board voted last week to send the issue back to committee.
Jim Crosby, the owner of Crosby’s Markets, said he and other businesspeople would like a chance to weigh in on the issue. He came to Thursday’s council meeting to ask that the issue be put on hold until they can give some input.
Although the cart ordinance is well-intentioned, it ends up hurting the victim — the store whose cart has been stolen, Crosby said.
Crosby’s has markets on Canal Street in Salem, as well as in Hamilton, Georgetown, Marblehead, Manchester and Concord.
Salem’s proposed ordinance is modeled after one in Revere.
Ryan, who first proposed the cart ordinance last fall, said he’s gotten a lot of feedback on the issue since The Salem News ran an article highlighting the proposal last month. He said he “wished” he had included the business community in formulating the ordinance and was glad to do so now.
“We need to look for a solution,” he said. “... It’s not really the store’s fault (that carts are abandoned).”
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.