Yreka board takes action to approve abandoned shopping carts ordinance

A long-discussed ordinance to remove abandoned shopping carts from the streets and green spaces of Yreka has come a step closer to reality.

The Yreka city council on Tuesday, October 19 approved the first reading of a new ordinance which attempts to reduce the public plague and the theft of carts. Council will need to approve a second reading on November 2 before the new law can go into effect.

Mayor Duane Kegg said Wednesday morning that he hopes the ordinance will be passed and ready for implementation by January.

City leaders have been working on an ordinance for the past few years, including organizing several public workshops.

“It will definitely be a benefit to the city,” Kegg said. “It’s been an ongoing problem for years. Collecting all the wagons cost the city more. Hopefully this will help reduce this horror in the community. ”

At the council meeting, Kegg said he drove to the town’s pound on Sunday, October 17 and counted 222 shopping carts, including 167 from Walmart.

According to a report by municipal staff, shopping carts removed from shops and left abandoned on public or private property constitute a public nuisance and a potential danger to health and safety.

Currently, city staff are picking up and storing abandoned carts while trying to contact businesses to arrange pickup of carts from storage.

This proved to be a strain on the time and resources of city staff, the memorandum said.

The ordinance requires, among other things, that carts be identified, the mandatory recovery of carts by companies and the disposal of unclaimed carts in a timely manner. The ordinance contains the reimbursement of costs for staff time, as well as expenses and fines,

The proposed ordinance includes the requirement that every shopping cart owned or used in the city have readily visible identification. Cart information will include the identity of the cart owner along with a valid phone number or address to return the cart.

The proposed ordinance also prohibits people from withdrawing or keeping shopping carts owned by businesses.

Businesses should post notice boards for the new law. Each owner will need to apply for a unique shopping cart permit from the city.

If consistent violations of the new ordinance occur, action can be taken, including mandatory electronic deactivation devices and fines.

Kegg has repeatedly added that the carts are full of trash, which only increases the time city staff need to resolve this issue. For him, the proposed ordinance puts the burden and responsibility on the owner of the cart.

“It’s not something we should have to pay,” Kegg said. “I hope we can move forward. This is much needed in my eyes.”

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Bill Choy covers sports and general news for the Siskiyou Daily News / Mount Shasta Herald / USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter at@SDNBillChoy. Email Bill at bchoy@siskiyoudaily.com. Support local journalism by subscribing today.

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Peggy P. Gilmore