The most recent topic for discussion: whether the 5-cent fee on paper bags was a good idea.
“We used to get bags, paper or plastic regardless of the ban or not so they should keep to what we used to do and stop trying to make a profit off people,” said resident Inity Bless.
“I really feel strongly that we should pay for bags if we need them. So then it helps to remind us to bring our own bags,” said resident Julie Tilt.
The City Council says it may reverse the fee because it’s concerned about the fee’s burden on low-income residents. Council members will re-evaluate the 5-cent charge at Monday night’s meeting, and give the public a chance to weigh in.
“It’s kind of hard to measure that when it’s like well how are they going to measure it to know you know who is below the limit to not be eligible to pay the 5 cents,” said resident Kristine Kadwell.
Some residents say if lifting the fee is really designed to help those who can’t afford it, maybe those low-income residents need to re-think what they’re buying.
“How are they able to come in and spend that kind of money on these products and then not spend 5 cents on a bag to carry their products home,” Kadwell said.
Others argue the fee is just a hassle.
“We shouldn’t charge people to carry their groceries out. I mean they’re already paying for groceries so I mean they should be able to have whatever they want,” said resident Seth Pestle.
Some shoppers say the city should be giving out reusable bags for free to make it easier for residents to adhere to the new ordinance.
But whether residents are opposed to the fee or not, most can agree the city needs to reduce its carbon footprint.