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Utica Common Council revisits tow truck legislation

The Utica Common Council approved legislation for tow truck companies in the city's rotation in December. They are now revisiting those regulations.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 11:35 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2019 12:27 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - The Utica Common Council approved legislation for tow truck companies in the city's rotation in December. They are now revisiting those regulations.

A local tow truck company owner attended Wednesday nights meeting to discuss the changes that should be made. 

“We’re just looking for a little more clarity on the rates," said Matt Nimey, owner of Nimey's The New Generation. 

The council says the previous legislation was approved because they needed something in place before storms started to hit, like Super Storm Stella back in March 2017.

“What happened obviously in Storm Stella was, tow truck companies were coming in and some were saying they couldn’t respond, I mean they were overloaded," said Samantha Colosimo-Testa, a council member. 

“We need a different plan for snow emergency situations because snow emergency brings on a lot of hard ships for people and including the truck companies," said Nimey. 

The legislation states that the flat rate for tow truck companies to charge is $95 and that hasn’t been updated in over 10 years. Nimey says that is just not feasible for most companies.

“The cost of these trucks have gone through the roof, the cost of having employees drive these trucks and to insure them has gone through the roof," said Nimey.

So the next step for the city is to compare rates in other areas the size of Utica.

“What we’re going to do is look at other municipalities our size and kind of go from there and figure out what’s a reasonable price for the tow truck companies to be charging their customers," said Colosimo-Testa.

While the rates still need to be discussed, both sides agree that there does need to be regulations.

“There have been instances in the past where tow truck companies have charged our constituency an excess of three, four hundred dollars just to tow their vehicle," said Colosimo-Testa. 

“Rates need a little bit of an increase but we also want to protect the citizens from anybody that is price gauging," said Nimey

The council will meet in a few weeks with the police department and a few other tow truck companies in the city's rotation to come up with a plan that works for both parties.  

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