The Killeen City Council is expected to again discuss raising the city’s towing rates during today’s meeting.
City officials vowed to look into a fee hike at the request of more than a dozen local towing companies in August. In early November, officials presented a compilation of requests from the West Bell County Towing Association to the council.
The city was asked by 13 towing companies to increase its fees for residents who have their vehicles towed by police. Rose Goode, an employee of Goode Towing and a towing association representative, brought the request before the council in August, saying it has been a decade since rates were increased.
The city’s current rate is a flat $90 fee for arrest-related tows and $110 for accidents. Fees are charged to the vehicle owner or their insurance company, not to the city.
During the council’s Nov. 5 workshop meeting, the towing association asked the initial fee be increased from $140 to $150, plus a $50 fee if the tow requires a flat-bed truck, a $95 per hour fee charged in 30-minute increments beginning after the tow truck has been on scene for a half-hour, a $95 rollover fee if the car is flipped, a $95 winching fee and $3 per mile if the vehicle is towed outside of Killeen city limits.
The association also requested a 10 percent fuel surcharge. Traci Briggs, deputy city attorney, said the rate hikes would mean a tow would run about $313.
Council members requested that staff gather information from towing companies regarding the fees that would be tacked on and whether they are justifiable. The council also asked staff to negotiate with the towing association to bring some of the amounts down before a recommendation is made.
Members of the towing community said a fee increase is needed to cover costs including paying for an increasing number of operating licenses from the state and federal government, training costs, drug testing and other expenses. They also said fuel costs have gone up over the past 10 years.
City staff will present their findings to the City Council at today’s 5 p.m. meeting in the Utility Collections conference room, 210 W. Avenue C.