City public works crews are collecting shopping carts that people have taken off the property of a grocery or retail store and, free of charge, are returning them to the stores.
This isn't supposed to be the way it goes.
The city adopted an ordinance in 2008 that gives stores the responsibility to not only label all their carts with identifying information, but also to post signs that say it is illegal to take the carts off the premises.
On top of that, the stores are obligated to pay $50 to get a cart back if the city picks it up. That might seem like a lot, but these carts cost $250 each to begin with, according to city Building Official Guy Morin. So, it's kind of a bargain.
But the stores aren't paying and the city is doing all the work.
Walter Veselka, the diretor of public works, says the ordinance isn't working. He and Morin, who both serve on the blight-fighting code enforcement committee, are going to come up with some suggested revisions to the ordinance.
Stay tuned. It might get interesting.