Donna OKs towing fee increase

The Donna City Council approved increasing the towing fee to $125, more than two times the previous amount.

The towing ordinance allows permitted wrecker companies to tow illegally parked or wrecked vehicles, as well as those belonging to a person under arrest by the Donna Police Department, according to the amended ordinance effective in May.

The council earlier this year swapped towing companies permitted to operate on rotation with Mario’s Wrecker, Apollo towing, AT Wrecker Towing and Coronado Towing. Prior to the rotation change, Itos, JJ and DJ’s wrecker companies worked on rotation.

The previous ordinance allowed the companies to charge only $50.

The increase in fees benefits towing companies and requires citizens to hand over more money to pick up their vehicles from wrecker yards, Councilwoman Cathy Alvarado, who was against the increase, previously said when the ordinance received a preliminary approval in April.

During a special meeting that month, Police Chief Gilbert Guerrero recommended the council approve increasing the wrecker fee as well as allowing the city to collect $15 per tow from the wrecker companies. The $15 would be allocated to cover the cost of the administrative work done by the police department, which also responds along with the companies.

“Wreckers summoned to calls where the police have not arrived, will not hook the vehicle until the police arrive,” the ordinance reads in part. “Fees for non-hook ups will not be charged.”

The ordinance also allows for a $20 a day fee to be charged for storage after the first day.

Vehicle owners who arrive to their vehicles hooked up to a towing truck can pay a drop fee of $40 to have their vehicle released.

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