City of Kent looks to raise towing fees


A tow truck for City Service Company sits outside the garage in Kent on Wednesday.

Chris Ramos

Motorists will want to act wisely when parking their vehicles as towing expenses could significantly increase.  

Michelle Lee, chief of Kent Police, submitted a request to revise ordinances in regards to towing services for police in December.

The revision to KCO 137.11 called for towing fees to be raised from $90 to $125, with storage fees being set at $20 instead of $12. The revision also asked that police be granted the ability to contact companies that are outside city limits.

“The rate increase was a request for the tow companies,” Lee said. “The tow companies have a lot of overhead costs. It is expensive to operate this kind of business.”

Lee said that Hope Jones, the law director for Kent, looked into the police tow costs of Stow, Ravenna and Streetsboro. All three cities have higher fees.

The other ordinance being requested for revision is KCO 356.02, which would allow police towing on city property to occur. 

A memo sent to city council said “there has been an increase with prohibited parking that ticketing and increased signage has not curbed.”

The proposed change in language does not come without feedback. During a city council meeting Jan. 9, David Moore, a tow truck driver for Plaza Auto Care & Towing, spoke on behalf of the company.

While his company agreed with the $20 storage fee, they wished to see the tow fee increase to $135. Moore cited the fact that Plaza Auto towed fifteen cars for the city last month and five cars are still on their lot. Aside from having to store a vehicle for thirty days, Moore argued that another thirty days are tagged on because of the wait for police to generate a title. 

“We got a car sitting there for sixty days, it isn’t doing us any good,” Moore said. We’re losing money.” 

Moore also asked that response times be increased from fifteen minutes to twenty minutes during the day. For night, the request is thirty minutes. He agreed with a secondary list of companies, but expressed fear that it may take business away from contracted tow services.

Plaza Auto Care & Towing, City Service Towing and Baker’s Towing are the three companies currently contracted with the city.

“The new language states that we would always contact those three agencies first.” Chief Lee said. “If we don’t have luck contacting those three, we can then go outside our jurisdiction.”

Companies in Stow, Streetsboro and Brimfield would be contacted in those dire circumstances Lee said.

City council will make make a decision on the new language of the ordinances Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. 

Chris Ramos is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at [email protected].