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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Town Council considering revising towing ordinance

After an incident with towing on Saturday Sept. 8, Boone Town Council is looking into revising the town’s towing ordinance.

On Tuesday’s town council meeting at 6:30 p.m., Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele shared changes and reorganization to the towing ordinance with the town council.

In the newly added section, 73.08, when a car is towed non-consensually, the towing company has to have someone on duty for the next six hours and the next business day, and they have to be able to respond to a telephone call and respond within half an hour, Furgiuele said to the council.

If the person in calling wants to pay fine and get the car back, the towing company is required to arrange the payment of the fees within half an hour of the call ending, he said.

If the fine is paid, there is a requirement to release the car within one hour of payment.

If the company is located more than three miles from where the vehicle was towed, the company has to send someone to meet with the driver.

Furgiuele added another section requiring a towing company from out of town to carry a Town of Boone business license.

Those are the main changes, Furgiuele said to council.

“This is not aimed at any one person,” he said. “I thought that we had missed something in the ordinance so I was just trying to fill in the gap.”

Captain Jim Wilson with the Boone Police Department said the incident that happened Saturday Sept. 8 started with a vehicle towed outside city limits, Wilson said at the meeting.

The sergeant and a lieutenant were called to the scene to do what was “reasonable” to get the car back, Wilson said.

“Then upon later review of the ordinances, they believe they were right in asking the owner of the towing company to release the vehicle,” he said. “They ordered him to release the vehicle.”

The council passed a motion to public comment.

Mountaineer Towing and Recovery Tyler McKeithan said to the council the owner of the vehicle towed Sept. 8 used “vulgarities” and “obscenities,” on the phone around 10 p.m.

McKeithan replied that his company was not open and the owner of the car could pick up the car at the start of the next business day.

Boone police ordered McKeithan to release the car, he said.

“Towing industry is not always a popular industry,” he said. “However we provide a services to private and public entities.”

McKeithan said to the town council that he felt the changes to the ordinance are a direct retaliation against his business.

Robert Fisher with Fisher’s Towing said his main concern is safety concerns of his employees.
“It’s not safe to be out there at two or three o’clock in the morning to release their car,” Fisher said.

A motion was passed to further discuss the changes and delay possible action until Thursday.

 

Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Editor

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