SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - In Savannah's battle against blight, shopping carts are now in the crosshairs.
The city is looking to adopt an ordinance that would help corral carts and hold businesses with ten or more shopping carts more accountable in keeping track of them.
It's still in draft, and Monday was the second meeting to go over the proposal that aims to keep carts where they're supposed to be.
Representatives from stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix and the Red & White have attended the two meetings to voice their concerns and work toward a middle ground with the City of Savannah on this proposal.
The proposed ordinance calls on businesses to use any means available to prevent the removal of shopping carts from their property.
One suggested measure was installing disabling devices to lock up the wheels on the carts if taken off property.
Stores with ten or more carts would fall under the ordinance, and if they don't comply, could face fines up to $500.
As far as carts being removed from store property, some people simply don't realize taking a cart is theft, so the city is also suggesting in the proposal to put more signs around warning customers.
"The major concerns of the draft are the signage. A lot of the stores have models that work for the stores, and signage externally. We ask that they put signs letting the customers know that shopping cart removal is against the law. They had difficulty with that. There was also concern about the fines," said Savannah – Customer Service Administrator Margaret Williams. "When it comes to shopping carts, many times people have gone to the store, purchased more than they intended to, walk back home, and they just load up the shopping cart and walk back home. I think it's imperative in this process as we move forward with the ordinance that we make people aware that it is against the law. It's against Georgia state law to take a shopping cart off property and abandon it someplace else."
"We want to take care of everybody. And for sure, we understand the city's concerns, and they understand our concerns. So, we look forward, and welcome the opportunity to work with the city," said Georgia Food Industry Association President Kathy Kuzava.
Kuzava did say following the meeting that this ordinance is by far the strictest they've seen in the state so far.
The goal is to get the draft in front of city council before the end of the year.
[You can read the entire proposed ordinance below:]