Contract with tow companies on hold

DOWNEY - A decision to extend the contracts with United Towing Service and Titan Transportation for city and police towing services was pulled from this week's City Council agenda to allow time for "additional research."For the past 36 years, United Towing and Doug's Tug provided towing services to the police department and city. Titan Transportation was added as a third tow company in 2009. Doug's Tug went out of business last year, leaving only United Towing and Titan Transportation. "Their timely response to traffic accidents, impound requests and crime scenes are critical to the Police Department's overall effectiveness, and essential to providing a professional service to the residents of Downey," police chief Rick Esteves wrote in a report to the City Council. "Because the companies work on a rotational basis, a tow truck is routinely available." Downey does not solicit a franchise fee from tow companies but the city does collect an assessment fee equal to 20 percent of the company's gross receipts for each city-generated tow or impound with subsequent storage of a vehicle. Downey received $39,068 in tow company assessment fees during the last fiscal year, Esteves said. "At Council direction, we have routinely attempted to support companies that are based and/or maintained within the city," Esteves wrote in the report. "We believe our familiarity and professional relationship with local tow companies have helped to prevent predatory towing practices from occurring. They have continually provided ethical and professional service to Downey's residents."

********** Published: June 30, 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 10