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Bloomington City Council Passes Towing Ordinance (IN)


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Bloomington City Council Passes Towing Ordinance Amid Tow Company Concerns


A new Bloomington ordinance seeks to limit predatory towing, but some towing companies say it targets them.


The ordinance called “non-consensual towing business” passed unanimously at Wednesday night’s city council meeting. It was the third hearing after contentious debate.


City council president Steve Volan says the ordinance isn’t meant to accuse towing companies of being predatory.


"The point of the ordinance is to rein in potential predatory towing whether or not it’s actually happening and I think that certainly that was our consensus at our first discussion of this ordinance.”


Two amendments passed. One raises maximum towing fees from $125 to $135 to match county and Indiana University rates.


Another allows the city to decline a towing license if the applicant isn’t in good standing with the law.


Max Stryker of Stryker Towing and Repair says the ordinance doesn’t address recouping money after a violator pays 20-percent of fees to retrieve their car.


"That doesn’t pay the driver, that definitely doesn’t pay fuel, insurance costs," Stryker says. "And it just worries me that we’re going to spend thousands to make hundreds.”


Stryker says after civil court costs and no enforcement of payments, towing companies won’t get paid back.


Council member Jim Sims who sponsored the ordinance said along with Volan that the ordinance will be closely followed by the council and can be revisited and improved upon in the future.



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