OCEAN CITY – Ocean City could be seeing some new towing fees this summer, as the Ocean City Police Commission agreed to the price increases this week.
Several representatives from local towing companies were present at a Police Commission meeting Tuesday to discuss the current towing prices, which they claimed were too low.
As it currently stands, towing companies only receive $35 for showing up to a potential vehicle tow and an additional $125 for the actual towing. Representatives explained that they are often called to tow a vehicle and arrive to find the owner moving the vehicle already, explaining that although they did not tow the vehicle, the gas and man-hours were still spent on the call. The commission agreed that $35 was not enough to cover the time spent, and agreed to raise the fee to $65. The cost for towing was also increased from $125 to $150.
The cost of winching vehicles that are stuck on the beach or in other areas was also addressed, with representatives explaining that under the city ordinance, they can currently only charge $35 for pulling a vehicle out of the sand.
“I support these guys…it needs to be worth their while,” said Captain Victor Bunting, agreeing that the fee for pulling a vehicle off of the beach should be steeper.
The commission agreed to raise the price to $50, with and additional $100 per hour after the first hour.
The fine for moving a vehicle out of the street, but not towing it to the impound lot, also currently stands at $35, a price representatives agreed was too low. The commission agreed to raise the price to $75.
Cropper and Sons Towing Company, which is often called for towing heavy-duty vehicles, addressed the current price for moving medium- to heavy-load vehicles. As it stands the fee is the same for all vehicles, but all interested parties agreed that more work goes into towing the heavier vehicles. To solve the problem, the commission decided on a fee of $125 per hour for medium-duty vehicles and $150 per hour for heavy-duty vehicles, such as delivery trucks.
Currently, the town charges $5 for the first day that a vehicle is in the impound lot at 65th Street and $10 for each additional day. After comparing their fines to the state police, a fine of $45 a day, and Baltimore City, a fine of $50 per day, the commission agreed to raise their prices to $10 for the first day and $15 for each subsequent day.
The favorable recommendation of the fee increases will be presented to the Mayor and Council in ordinance form for first and second reading in April. If passed, the new prices will go into affect on May 1.