Towing Fees Rile West Texan As Parking Woes Grow Across The Basin 6/10/13
CBS 7 News
June 10, 2013
ODESSA-Alex Hogan parked her brand new car in this vacant lot next to the laundromat because there was no space left in the parking lot. it was gone when she walked back out.
"It wasn't more than five minutes, we went out there, came out and the car was gone,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s car was towed by ARS Towing--signs posted warn drivers that if you park here, you will get towed. It costs $291.40 to remove your car, the maximum allowed under state law.
"They’re charging at least twice more than all the other towing truck places in town…$300,” Hogan said.
The vacant lot is owned by a private owner, who says they contract the towing company to protect their lot from damage. ARS has permission to tow at any time without being called out.
“It just got to be excessive and it’s tearing up our property,” said Janette Midkiff, the lot manager. “We had to do something to stop the traffic going through there.”
Midkiff says parking in the lot has increased since the complex across the street cracked down on parking.
We went to ARS towing, where the impound bears a different name, Ector County VSF. Owner Ron Wenger did not want to talk on camera, but said his business is completely within the law. ARS Towing has an active towing license with no formal complaints published online.
Meantime--Hogan says the penalty is just too high.
"Most people who use Laundromats are busy working moms and can’t afford the $300, it’s ridiculous,” Hogan said.
Some cities do have ordinances reducing the maximum charges allowed for towing from private property. You can contact your Odessa city officials at the city’s website.