[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Watervliet 7-27-2017 by L.L. No. 6-2017. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Watervliet finds that abandoned shopping carts in the City create potential hazards to the health and safety of the public and interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic and create a public nuisance. This chapter is intended to insure that measures are taken by owners of shopping carts to prevent the removal of the shopping carts from the owner's premises, to make removal of the shopping cart a violation of this Code, and to facilitate the retrieval of abandoned shopping carts.
As used herein, the following words shall have the meanings below set forth:
- The act of leaving, deserting or giving up control and/or possession of a shopping cart on private or public property.
- The City of Watervliet.
- Any person or entity, in connection with the function of a business, who owns, leases, possesses or makes shopping carts available to customers or the public.
- PARKING AREA
- The parking lot or other property provided by a retail establishment for the use of customers of said retail establishment for the parking of customer vehicles.
- An individual of either sex.
- Any building, property or other area upon which any retail establishment business is conducted or operated in the City of Watervliet, including the parking area provided for customers in such retail establishment.
- RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT
- Any business located in the City of Watervliet which offers or provides shopping carts for the use of customers of such business regardless of whether such business is advertised or operated as a retail or wholesale business and regardless of whether such business is open to the general public, is a private business, or is a membership store.
- SHOPPING CART
- Any device, hand-drawn or propelled vehicle or wheeled container of the kind customarily provided by merchants to customers for the purpose of carrying merchandise.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises of the owner of such shopping cart without the written consent of the owner or his agent, servant or employee given at the time of such removal, except that such a shopping cart may be removed to a parking area of said owner.
It shall be unlawful for any person to be in possession of a shopping cart that has been removed from the premises or the parking area of a retail establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of possession of the shopping cart.
It shall be unlawful for any person to leave or abandon any shopping cart on any sidewalk, right-of-way, street, avenue, road, highway, alley, driveway, bridge, crosswalk, municipal parking area or other property within the City other than the property of the owner of the shopping cart.
Every owner of shopping carts shall make or cause the shopping carts to be marked and identified conspicuously with the name of the owner.
Every owner of shopping carts shall provide the City with a current contact name, phone number, and e-mail address of its representative that the City may contact when a shopping cart is found on private or public property other than the parking area set aside by the owner of shopping carts for the parking of cars by customers.
All owners, regardless of the number of carts, shall ensure that all carts are secured from public access after close of business hours.
Signs shall be placed prominently and conspicuously at all locations where shopping carts are stored that provide notice to customers and others that removal of shopping carts from the premises is prohibited and a violation of law.
Specific physical measures shall be implemented to prevent cart removal from the business premises. These measure may include, but are not limited to, disabling devices on all shopping carts, posts, fences or other physical measures, the posting of a security guard to deter and stop customers who attempt to remove shopping carts from the business premises, security deposits required for use of all shopping carts, or the rental or sale of utility carts that can be temporarily or permanently used for transport of purchases.
The Commissioner of Public Works, or his designee, shall have the authority to remove or cause to be removed any shopping cart found on any private property, with the consent of the owner of the private property, and on public property he determines is abandoned, and to hold and store said cart in his possession until redeemed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with this chapter.
The Commissioner of Public Works or his designee shall immediately remove, take possession of and impound for a period of up to 30 days any shopping cart that does not comply with the identification requirements of § 233-4A. Any shopping cart that remains unrecovered after this period shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the City.
The City will notify the owner of an identified shopping cart using the contact information provided by the owner of any shopping cart found off premises. The owner of the shopping cart will have 24 hours after this notification to recover its cart without penalty.
Any shopping cart that remains unrecovered after this period shall be impounded by the City and held for 30 days.
Within the thirty-day impoundment period, the General Manager shall mail a notice, by first-class mail, to the owner of the shopping cart, stating that each held shopping cart may be redeemed by the owner upon payment to the Department of Finance of the sum of $50 per shopping cart and shall set forth the times and places were such cart or carts may be redeemed. Payment for redemption shall be made to the Department of Finance, and a receipt shall be given therefor, which receipt shall entitle the owner to redeem said cart or carts at the place where they are held. The Department of Finance shall have the authority to require identification to demonstrate any person's proof of ownership or right to possession. Any delivery to a person deemed entitled thereto by the City, from the proof submitted, shall be an absolute defense of the City against any other person claiming to be entitled thereto.
Any shopping carts which remain unredeemed by their owners within the thirty-day impoundment period shall be sold by the City at public auction. Any cart may be redeemed by the owner at any time prior to such public auction upon payment of the sum of $100 per shopping cart and the payment of the cost of advertising the sale.
Any unredeemed cart which fails to sell at public auction may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the City. Any disposition of such shopping cart or carts made pursuant to this chapter shall be without liability on behalf of the City to the owner of the cart or other person having any interest therein.