Panhandling Ordinance Helping Superior Businesses

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Whether it was for a dollar or something else free, panhandlers used to set up inside and outside of Pizza Man in Superior asking for money to buy food, booze and sometimes even to gamble inside the restaurant.

“Demographics wise, it kind of doesn’t look great necessarily,” said Chris Schwartz, with Pizza Man. “I’m not saying they’re bad people by any means.”

Keyport Liquor has also had their fair share of visitors asking for handouts.

“The grocery store and us would struggle with a person here and there from time to time wandering the parking lot,” Keyport Liquor Store Manager Nick Casper said.

“There’s more people who are having a rough time in life and this was one means that they saw to try and get some extra money,” Superior Police Department Deputy Chief Matt Markon said.

To combat the problem, the city rolled out an ordinance banning panhandling in certain areas.

“The officers have an enforcement tool to get that person to move on, stop that activity,” said Markon.

The ordinance prohibits panhandling within 300 feet of any government building and businesses during hours of operation.

It also prevents taking handouts within 50 feet of driveways, certain access roads and intersections.

Since going into effect, “It’s been beneficial absolutely,” said Schwartz.

“The repetitiveness of the panhandlers on the corners that was pretty prominent prior to now its non–existent,” said Casper.

Some businesses believe it has helped their bottom line.

“It improved the demographics of the people that come in here,” said Schwartz.

“We always strive to make it the clean, well lit, comfortable place to shop,” said Casper. “Reassuring you that it’s a safe shopping environment definitely.”

Police officers tell FOX 21 not only does the new rule give them more authority but it also provides an opportunity to help some of the panhandlers.

“Whether it’s a homeless shelter or something else that they need that we are able to provide,” said Markon.

Superior Police Department has issued a few citations.

They believe they’ll put the ordinance into practice once the temperatures warm up.

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