Aldermen approve towing policy

Staff Writer

In its first meeting of 2019, the Starkville Board of Aldermen approved a citywide towing policy to assist citizens with procuring wrecker services when needed.

The item was first listed under mayor’s business, but was moved to the consent agenda early in the meeting. An executive session scheduled to discuss legal matters was also removed from the agenda. The new policy replaces Starkville Ordinance 1992-2 in full.

It is the policy of the Starkville Police Department to assist in procuring a wrecker for motorists involved in traffic accidents and other incidents requiring wrecker service. If the motorist has no preference, the wrecker will be procured from a firm on a rotation list.

“It is an agreement with the county and with the 911 operators for towing,” MayorLynn Spruill said. “They have a rotation list. They have it set up so (towing firms) meet certain criteria. That way, they’ll be on that rotation list, and everybody will be fairly accommodated.”

Towing firms on the list must operate from a properly zoned location, be licensed by the city of Starkville, and provide a secure place for storage of towed vehicles within five miles of city limits. The storage facility must be surrounded by a six-foot chain link fence, and must be capable of being locked. It must also be marked with the company’s name, phone number and hours of operation. Firms on the list must meet the minimum requirements of operating light-duty wreckers rated for 8,000 pounds or more, or medium-duty wreckers with a rating of between 10 tons and 25 tons.

In the absence of a firm in Starkville that can provide heavy-duty wrecker, SPD personnel will be responsible for procuring a heavy wrecker from the nearest available location.

The ordinance also details equipment all wreckers on the list are required to have. All wreckers on the list must carry a license from the city of Starkville and proof of insurance, and all operators
must present liability insurance or bonds to the city clerk. Wreckers and facilities will also be inspected periodically by police.

Fees for all cars and pickup trucks requiring the service will be no more than $200. In the case of a major incident involving additional pieces of equipment, a supplementary resource fee of no more than $100 may be charged. The use of oil or fluid drying material may be charged an amount no more than $50. Storage fees may not exceed $40 for a 24-hour period.

The new policy also makes it a misdemeanor for companies to participate without meeting all the criteria or possessing required documents.

“As long as they meet the requirements, they’ll be a part of that rotation list,” Spruill said.