Councilors defer decision to state legislature or Metro regional government.

The city of Troutdale will not pursue a plastic bag ban, but the City Council will support efforts by larger government jurisdictions to outlaw single-use plastic bags.

A grocery shopping bag ban was first proposed by Fairview Mayor Ted Tosterud, who called for a joint ban by the cities of Wood Village, Fairview and Troutdale. That three-city ban was not enacted, as Wood Village opted to pursue its own prohibition, and Troutdale staff and councilors had not discussed the issue before Tosterud requested the ban.

During a discussion of the topic at a council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 9, a majority of Troutdale councilors spoke against enacting a city bag ban, but all voiced support if the state or Metro regional government were to pursue the law change.

Troutdale Mayor Casey Ryan said a prohibition at the city level may not be appropriate.

"I believe it should be more of a Metro or a statewide ban," Ryan said. "I try to make sure what we do at the city isn't overreaching."

He noted that no Troutdale citizens have requested a bag ban, and there has not been any discussion with local merchants regarding the issue.

Zach Hudson was the only councilor who voiced support for a Troutdale ban, and proposed the city work with Fairview and Wood Village to ensure all ordinances would have been similar.

"The more our three cities can work together to create consistency, the better," he said.

Wood Village and Fairview will pass bans regardless of what happens in Troutdale, and if city staff isn't proactive, any ban in Troutdale could conflict with the neighboring cities' new laws.

"I think it's important we do something as a city now, because it creates the momentum for the state and other agencies, like Metro, to be able to move forward with this because of that inertia building," Hudson said.

Troutdale City Councilor David Ripma said a city ban would likely take up too much staff time.

"For the amount in time and capital in our staff's resources to enforce it, I don't favor the city doing it," Ripma said. "I would favor some statement of support for state action — or even national action."

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