The issue of shopping carts straying from store parking lots in Danbury has been discussed by the City Council.
The talks stemmed from A&P Supermarket on Padanaram Road being sent a notice of violation from the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team for dozens of shopping carts in UNIT's possession. They were collected off of the streetside, sidewalks and various properties. The notice says that the carts will be discarded unless the UNIT hears from A&P to arrange for the carts to be retrieved.
The inventory continues to grow with no response from the store.
(March 2013 photo from UNIT)
Danbury adopted a shopping cart ordinance several years ago when a number of carts were found in public parks and city streets. Shopping carts taken off city streets and elsewhere are stored at the Public Works Department, and can be picked up after paying a storage and retrieval fee. The storage fee is $2 per week, not exceeding $50. There is a $10 retrieval fee per cart. After six months and the appropriate postings, the carts can be auctioned off.
Mayor Mark Boughton says new shopping carts cost about $300 a piece.
One City Council member asked why UNIT doesn't just drop the carts back off at the stores where they came from. Boughton says that would just encourage the stores not to police their equipment and create a blight on the city.
Boughton says A&P is usually a good operation, there's one store that's a bigger offender. He says it's been a bit of a cat and mouse game over the last five or six years. One owner cut the chain off the carts in the middle of the night, and took them back without paying the fee.
He commended PriceRite for having carts where the wheels lock. He's asked other operators to do the same thing.