Aurora aldermen Tuesday voted during the regular City Council meeting to increase the fees towing companies can charge, and cited the length of time that has passed since the fees were amended and increased costs incurred by the companies.
Tow fees have not seen an increase since May 2008. Going forward, fees will be reviewed every two years.
Tow charges vary and depend on the time of day and day of week a vehicle is towed. From 2008 until now, tow charges between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays were $125. Under the resolution passed Tuesday night, fees rise to $140 between those hours. Tows completed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays will increase $25 from $150 to $175.
Storage charges after towing, which begin at the 25th hour, are holding steady at $50 for inside storage and $45 for outside storage.
The Aurora Police Department maintains a tow list, said Alex Voigt, the mayor’s assistant chief of staff. Each of 12 tow companies pay the city $2,000 to be on the list. The companies must meet State and local regulations, including employee background checks and certified notification to lien holders.
Traffic Division Officer Matt Fichtel told aldermen, “regardless of which company is called, the payment is always the same.”
The tow companies operate on three rotations, he said:
• Non-accident tows (such as illegally parked/abandoned vehicles);
• Accidents tows;
• City vehicle tows.
Some of the tow operators have 10 trucks, some have only one, Fichtel said.
The Traffic Division of the Aurora Police Department conducted a survey of tow fees of neighboring and similarly-sized communities, and the findings indicated Aurora’s fees to be lower than most other communities, according to information supplied to aldermen.