Ho-Ho-Kus November 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 7 Borough introduces newly refined towing fee ordinance by Jennifer Crusco After a year of detailed review, the Ho-Ho-Kus Council last week introduced an amended version of the municipal towing ordinance that includes updated fees as requested by the towing companies that serve Ho-Ho-Kus. In 2008, Tom LoCicero, owner of a towing company licensed by the borough, asked the governing body to review the local ordinance that covers rates that can be charged to motorists who need to be towed from the municipality. LoCicero told the council the rates in the current ordinance were relatively low, and said he believed those fees had not been updated since the 1980s or 1990s. A revised ordinance was introduced in February, but when the item was up for public hearing and possible adoption in March, LoCicero and Frank Thissen, also a licensed towing company owner, convinced the borough council to table the ordinance. The towing company owners said several issues still need to be addressed, and that some of the proposed fees were still antiquated in their estimation. LoCicero told the council a new state law would affect how towers are permitted to conduct their business, and urged the council to consider the item (Bill 2567) before approving a new fee ordinance. He also said he had found contradictions in the ordinance, and said the fee for storing passenger cars had actually decreased in the proposed measure. He added that the ordinance should address the types of vehicles that are being towed. In particular, he pointed out that many cars now have all-wheel drive, which affects how they can be towed. According to the refined ordinance introduced last week, basic towing services for a two-axle vehicle under 8,000 pounds anywhere within Ho-Ho-Kus or to a storage yard would include the following rates: $100 for wheel lift or flatbed, $35 per additional axle, and $4 per mile for the wheel lift. Fees for a two-axle vehicle of 8,001 to 16,000 pounds would be $250 for towing and $35 per additional axle. Motorcycles would be towed at a fee of $100. Heavy duty towing fees for vehicles over 16,001 pounds would be $325 per hour with a one hour minimum, $45 for driveshaft removal, and $45 for brake release. A fee of $550 per hour would be charged for the use of an air cushion device in a heavy-duty recovery. Fees for vehicle storage would include $45 per day for vehicles under 10,000 pounds that are being stored inside a building. Each additional axle would cost $20 per day. Vehicles stored outside a secured facility would incur the following costs: $35 per day for vehicles under 10,000 pounds, and $20 per day for each additional axle; $75 per day for vehicles over 10,000 pounds; $100 per day for a tandem axle truck; and $140 per day for a tractor trailer. Emergency road service fees include $60 for aid that includes jump starts, delivery of up to two gallons of fuel, or a tire change. A fee of $75 would be charged for a vehicle lockout. However, the ordinance states that if a tow follows the road service, the vehicle owner would not be charged for the aid, except for the cost of gas placed in the vehicle’s tank. The ordinance also includes fees for vehicle recovery and winching as follows: light duty winching for a vehicle that does not roll or has flat tires, $75; off-road recovery or up-righting a vehicle, $150 per hour; medium duty winching and off-road recovery and up-righting, $250 per hour; and heavy duty winching, recovery, and up-righting, $425 per hour. Drivers would be charged $45 for axle/driveshaft removal, and $40 for crash wrap applied to a front or rear window. The charge for crash wrap applied to a side window would be $25 per window. Cleanup fees are listed at $35 for debris, $30 for the first bag of Speedy Dry, and $12 per additional bag of that material. The ordinance also includes a $35 administration fee, which includes meeting with insurance adjusters, photos, and inventory reports. A yard charge of $55 would be charge when applicable. A fee of $100 per hour is included for “waiting time,” which would be assessed in 15 minute increments, with a 15 minute minimum, beginning after the first 15 minutes on the scene. The fee for extra personnel would be $75 per hour, and the fee for a Level 3 recovery supervisor would be $90 per hour. If a tower is called out by the police and arrives on the scene, but the owner of the vehicle refuses service or no service is required, a $50 fee would be charged for the responding tow truck. Councilman Kevin Crossley was instrumental in refining the fee ordinance after he studied rates being charged throughout this area. When LoCicero approached the governing body last fall, he said Ho-Ho-Kus was charging $45 for a tow in some cases. He said that price was one of the lowest in the area, adding that neighboring municipalities had already increased the fee for the same job to $95. The borough’s previous fee to store towed vehicles was $12 to $15 a day, which LoCicero said was low, and there were no rates listed for the recovery of vehicles that flip or leave the roadway. LoCicero said he and the borough’s other two towing companies want to be able to charge a fair price for their services. The police department keeps multiple towing companies on call at designated times, so each has an opportunity to respond to emergencies in Ho-Ho-Kus. A public hearing on the newly introduced ordinance will be held at the Nov. 24 public council session, which will begin at 8 p.m. in Ho-Ho-Kus Borough Hall. All Preview Christmas Hamilton Square Shopping Center 140 Franklin Tpke, Waldwick • 201-251-7577 S easons ... ����������������������������������������������������� ������������������� �������������������� ������������������� ������� ������ ������ ������������������ ����������������� ����������� ����������������������������������������� ���� But STILL can’t lose that 11-4-09 mike/janine Tummy or Cellulite? AllSeasonsPreViewChristmas2x2(11-4-09) 2 x 2” Call me about VelaShapeTM A NEW Nonsurgical method of Fat reduction and body contouring • Non-invasive • No Anesthesia • No Downtime Beverly Dunn, MD Waldwick, NJ • 201-445-0032 Dieting? Working Out? �������������� ® ��������������������� ��������������� ����������������� Welcomes your press releases photographs ��������������������� � �������������������������������������� ����������������������������� �������������������������������������