JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Tow truck operators angry about Jackson's proposed wrecker service agreement say they want no part of it.
Monday the city's planning committee reviewed the new plan which they say looks out for the interest of the city and its residents.
Owners of several towing companies attended the City of Jackson planning meeting which outlined the new wrecker rotation agreement.
Following the meeting the majority of the owners voted to no longer tow vehicles for the City of Jackson.
Officials said 15 companies are currently in the rotation.
It boils down to an issue of money for the towing companies.
Trey Ward, owner of Ward's Wrecker Service in Jackson, said his company and others charge $125.00 for towing.
The city agreement will only increase the towing fee from $65.00 to $75.00.
Wrecker companies complain that there that have been no increase in fees for 13 years.
The Jackson Police Department and city's License and Permit Division worked out the agreement that was reviewed by the committee.
"If the city council had allowed Deputy Chief Horton to go ahead and continue negotiations as far as the pricing was concerned that we wouldn't be at the stage we are now. The whole purpose of us doing this is to keep this from going to vote," said Ward.
The agreement also calls for a $25.00 per day storage fee with no charge for the first 24 hours.
City officials, who negotiated the agreement, said participation in the rotation system is voluntary.
"We did not want to give them the latitude, them meaning our wrecker owners and drivers, the latitude to just charge whatever they wanted. We wanted to come up with a set fee so that the citizens will understand and know that whenever they call a wrecker they will know what to expect," said J.P.D. Deputy Chief Lindsey Horton.
Other owners, like Ernest Stanton of Stanton Body Shop and Wrecker Service, said the current proposal will be detrimental to small towing companies.
"We're gonna lose employees. Our employees can't work for this small pay. This is an old pay back in '76. This administration, what it just has done to small business people is gonna put us back 30 years," said Stanton.
Some companies, like Wards, said they have years of unpaid city invoices.
They also object to the new Jackson impound lot storage fee, more money they say for the city and not for them.
The planning committee approved sending the agreement to the full council for vote.
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