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Medford business manager supports shopping cart ordinance

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

The Medford City Council is trying to minimize cost for both business owners and city employees by coming up with a solution to abandoned carts.

Cart theft is a monetary loss for businesses and it costs the city about $10,000 a year to move out of parks, highways, etc.

"Nothing is more frustrating for a customer to come in and want to buy something and not be able to find a cart," said Toni Wilson, the Grange Co-Op manager.

Wilson says customer service and finances go down when shopping carts go missing.

"You lose a couple shopping carts a year, it adds up very quick. They're about $300 a piece," said Wilson.

She says this store alone will lose around more than 20 carts a year.

The Medford Parks and Rec department will retrieve that amount each week.

"That's time out of their day that they're not spending what they're really paid to do, which is maintenance," said Kevin Stine, a Medford City Council member.

This is why the city of Medford has voted for a shopping cart ordinance.

"So what this does is it allows anyone to go up to the cart, and it'll have a phone number for people to call. It can be either the business, or it can be the cart retrieval service that they contract with, and so they will just go pick up the cart," said Stine.

Once the call is made the business will have a seven-day window for pick up in order to avoid a $50 fine.

"It's a benefit actually because we'll have a second set of eyes retrieving our carts. Seven days I think is completely fair to go out and retrieve. We might not be able to do it the exact day, but within seven days we'd be very anxious to go pick up our carts," said Wilson.

Very anxious because Wilson says the Grange Co-Op actually has a seasonal shortage of carts so it's a win win.

"We run short on carts in the spring time because there's so many customers filling them up plants, and we much rather have them filled up with plants and product than trash somewhere," said Wilson.

However, Stine says it's not the perfect fix.

Eventually he'd like to see businesses incorporate shopping carts that lock at the wheel when attempted to be taken off the premises.

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