MEADVILLE – Meadville’s battle with abandoned shopping carts rages on. City Council on Wednesday approved on first and second reading an ordinance that would put in statute strict new penalties and terms for citizens who want to play fast and loose with the wheeled metal baskets that have been not-so-affectionately referred to as “Meadville Moving Vans.”
Citing the inherent nuisance and safety hazards associated with abandoned carts in parking lots, the new ordinance will obligate business owners to identify their carts with the appropriate signage, and also post signage, warning citizens of their fate if they should choose to walk away with a cart.
And the penalties are no slap on the wrist either. Up to a three hundred dollar fine and 90 days in jail for each offense. If an abandoned cart is found, the new law would give the city the option of taking it after giving the business owner ten days notice.
The carts themselves can cost up to 250 dollars, according to Councilman Leroy Stearns. Stearns says city will provide the first round of signs to local businesses, informing patrons of the changes.
Last year some carts were fitted with electronic locking devices, that render the carts immobile when brought a certain distance away from a particular business.