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Police department asks permanent suspension for wrecker service

Public hearing scheduled at City Council Tuesday

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Saturday, April 20, 2013

Greer City Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday to discuss the permanent suspension of Upstate Wrecker Service from the city’s wrecker rotation. The wrecker service was suspended from the city’s rotation on April 1 and the suspension expired on April 15.

Lt. Matt Hamby, in a letter sent to Police Chief Dan Reynolds, is requesting permanent suspension on several issues:

• Charging more for towing than is allowed by the City ordinance (Section 94-146)

• Charging more for storage than is allowed by the ordinance (94-146)

• Adding fees that are not allowed by the ordinance; clean up fees & mileage fees (Section 94-146)

• Storing a customer’s vehicle at a location outside of the City in an unsecured location (Section 94-144)

Hamby’s letter states:

“At the time of the suspension, one customer had been a victim to these pricing violations. Upstate Wrecker Service was requested to provide a written response to explain the violations. A response was received on April 5th, which cited the wrecker operator’s confusion of fees allowed by the City of Greer vs. The S.C. Highway Patrol’s (SCHP) wrecker rotation. However, according to the SCHP, their allowed pricing for towing is even less than the amount charged by Upstate Towing. Further research led to identifying an additional victim of excessive pricing by Upstate Wrecker Service. Copies of receipts from both victims were secured.

“It is my opinion that Upstate Wrecker Service’s explanation for overpricing is not satisfactory to allow the service to remain on the City of Greer’s wrecker rotation. It would be difficult to trust that future customers will be treated in accordance with the City’s ordinance. Therefore, I recommend that Upstate Wrecker Service be permanently suspended from the City of Greer’s wrecker rotation.”

Permanent suspension must be issued by city council after a public hearing.

City Council meets Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 301 East Poinsett Street.

The City of Greer comprehensive fee schedule for towing is:

Single Vehicle Accident Maximum Charge $200. (If the vehicle must be retrieved from a steeply sloping terrain or must be turned right side up for retrieval and additional charge, not to exceed $200 may be charged.)

• Non-Accident Related Towing Maximum $100. If dollies are needed or forced entry is warranted or towing after 5 p.m. and before 8 a.m. and additional charge of $25 may be made.

• Heavy-Duty Wrecker Services – a maximum of $250 per hour may be charged. (If the vehicle must be retrieved from a steeply sloping terrain or must be turned right side up for retrieval and additional charge, not to exceed $250 may be charged.)

• Vehicles associated with Criminal Charges requiring the seizure of the vehicle shall be charged a maximum of $125 unless the vehicle has been involved in an accident. (See above charge).

• Vehicle Storage Fee $20 per day.

 

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