Metro may offer impound lot operation to out-of-state company - WSMV Channel 4

Metro may offer impound lot operation to out-of-state company

Posted: Updated: Nov 1, 2011 10:06 PM

Metro Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a plan that would turn operation of Metro's tow-in lot over to a private vendor.

Under the plan, an out-of-state company would take over the impound lot, which is currently run by the police department.

Metro Finance Director Rich Reibeling says the city is losing nearly $500,000 a year on the impound lot.

The company, United Road Towing, out of Illinois, would pay Metro $475,000 a year to run the lot for the city.

Channel 4 asked Reibeling how a company could take the impound lot and make money while Metro was losing money while running it.

"Well, I guess government is not the greatest source of running businesses," he said.

Reibeling says, for example, United is able to get a higher price when it sells abandoned cars.

Local towing companies say the move would affect their business and force them to charge higher towing rates to their customers.

"We're taking money off of our roadways. Why would anybody in the city be OK with that?" said Cathy Cheeves, with A.B. Collier Wrecker Service.

And the local towers say they were left out of the bidding process.

"The biggest issue is why would our mayor and our finance director want to take money out of our city?" Cheeves said.

If the plan is approved, 29 full-time city positions will be eliminated.

Reibeling says those people will be offered other jobs in Metro government.

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