Proposed shopping cart ordinance fails, may undergo more work

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s one of the most difficult problems city’s face when it comes to dealing with the homeless. And it’s also and it’s also one of the toughest to solve.

Lexington Urban Council members demonstrated that Tuesday, spending an hour discussing a proposed ordinance to make someone responsible for shopping carts that end up cluttering roadways, neighborhoods and drainage ways.

The homeless or near-homeless often taken them from businesses and parking lots to carry their belonging from place to place, rummage through trash and dumps nad store items.

The proposed ordinance would share the responsibility between the city and businesses.

“We’re not asking to put a penalty on them for that, we’re asking for a partnership with them to help this problem because right now as it stands, it’s their private property that’s ending up in our streets, that’s ending up in our water systems. We have to then expend the cost on all the taxpayers to go and get rid of it. At the end of the day they should bear some responsibility for their private property,” explained Sixth District Council member David Kloiber, who has spearheaded the effort.

While Council members agreed something needs to be done, several wanted more input from businesses involved. The ordinance failed 7-2 in Tuesday’s Public Works Committee meeting but likely will undergo more work.

Some members suggested the city should force businesses to do more to protect their own property, a tactic some other cities have used. But others said that would be the wrong approach.

Others wanted the homeless held more accountable, although most admitted that would be hard to enforce.

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