City of Jackson proposes agreement for towing services - - Jackson, MS

City of Jackson proposes agreement for towing services

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By Julie Straw - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The meeting got off to a rocky start Thursday when tow-truck drivers said it would be hard to comment on a proposed agreement they've never seen.

"How can we speak about something we don't have," said City of Jackson Ward Three Councilman Kenneth Stokes. 

Neil Lee with Hayles Towing had hoped that the council would provide some information.  "We were hoping by you knowing there was a meeting tonight, one would have come to the clerk's office and got copies," said Lee.

Copies were handed out and wrecker-company operators did not like what they found.  "The prices on this list are not set high enough," said Trey Ward with Ward's Wrecking Service.

The towing prices set in the proposed agreement were $45 for city cars, $75 for citizens' cars and a storage fee of $25 per day.

Tow-truck operators said those set prices have not changed since 1997.

"Trucks, insurance, fuel, everything has gone up.  Salaries have gone up," said Lee.  "We're still getting paid the same thing."

"There's no way that I can vote, representing my ward to get more money because I represent poor people," said Councilman Kenneth Stokes, chairman of the city's planning committee.

He said concerned Jackson drivers were the reason JPD and the city were revising the current agreement.

"Some citizens say they got medicine in their cars.  They can't get their medicine out of their cars.  They say they go to look at their car.  They charge them a fee to open the door.  We don't have rules," said Stokes

Wrecker operators said most towing costs are covered by insurance, not from the pockets of law-abiding citizens.

"If you're driving and don't have insurance you are driving illegally.  If you get pulled over and get arrested you, you have a felony, it goes to the city impound," said Ward.  "Who are they trying to protect by doing this?"

The two sides will meet together again Tuesday to attempt a compromise.

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