Council to limit towing charges

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2016

The River Falls City Council on Tuesday night agreed they needed to pass an ordinance that would limit the amount a contracted towing company could charge those arrested in the town.

Council member Gary Wages brought up that someone was charged around $330 for having their vehicle impounded.

Wages said he called around and the going rate is around $125-$150.

“I think we should put a limit on it so that people don’t get gouged,” he said.

Police Chief Greg Jackson said he agreed.

“I talked to every other wrecker service and they charge what Mr. Wages said,” he said. “$300 is outrageous. I’m not going to say which company.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mattie Freeney asked if wrecker services were on a rotation and was told yes.

“We need to decide what we want the ordinance to say,” Mayor Patricia Gunter said.

One of the requirements is to have a River Falls business license.

Jackson said he only uses the towing companies if they are on the state rotation because they are inspected by the state.

Jackson said recently there was an instance in which a towing company had a car for only 10 minutes and the person was charged $300.

“If they don’t like it, they can get off the rotation,” Jackson said.

The council agreed the $150 limit would only be for regular towing, not extenuating circumstances.

Jackson told the council in his two decades in law enforcement that towing charges haven’t gone up much.

“When I started, they were around $100,” he said.

Gunter said they would also check and see if there was any other language that needed to be added to the ordinance.