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Towing cars for city of Tracy may get costlier


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News Topic Originally Created in August of 2005:


TRACY -- The cost of a standard tow ordered by the Tracy Police Department could increase by $40 on Sept. 1 if its request is approved at tonight's City Council meeting.

The current fee schedule used by six local towing companies on the department's rotation list hasn't been updated in more than 10 years and is out of step with what is charged in other cities in the area.

The request, prepared by Officer Michael Reiter, seeks an increase for a standard tow from $90 to $130 and storage from $25 to $35 a day. These and other changes are in line with the California Highway Patrol's fee schedule. Tracy's request cites rising utility, insurance and fuel costs and fees allowed by other area law enforcement agencies as reasons for the increase.

Tracy police Capt. Michael Maciel said he thinks the proposal will pass at tonight's meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Community Center at 300 E. 10th St.

"It is not an issue that costs the city any money," he said. "It's authorizing vendors to increase their fees up to where their expenses are."

Glenn Levine, owner of Reed & Son Tow Service, said he would welcome an updated fee schedule, but it won't solve the underlying problem.

"We could tow these cars for $75 apiece if people would pay their bills," he said.

Levine's company tows about 300 cars a year for the city, and nearly half are never claimed by the owner. That means the company is out the price of the tow and costs of checking for liens on the vehicle and disposal at a salvage yard, he said.

Scott Fitzgerald, supervisor at Plummer Tow in Lodi, said that city increases tow fees each year in accordance with the CHP's annual review and adjustment of its fee schedule.

He said he isn't surprised to learn a city hasn't addressed the issue in 10 years but is surprised the current rate for a tow in Tracy is so low.

Plummer Tow receives $138 for a standard tow and is awaiting approval to raise that to $144. Approval is expected in the next couple of weeks, Fitzgerald said.

Representatives of B&M Towing in Manteca, which is allowed $120 per tow, also said Manteca adjusts its fee schedule annually.

Maciel said there was no particular reason the fee schedule wasn't reviewed previously but the department will do so more frequently in the future.


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