Cleveland Hikes Illegal Parking Towing Fees

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CLEVELAND -- You may want to think twice before you illegally park in the city of Cleveland.  Not only are you likely to get ticketed and towed, but that tow will cost you a little more cash.

"I'll be aware of how much money I have in the meter and make sure I'm back before it runs out," said Cleveland resident Vincent Caringi.

It's a good message to anyone who parks downtown.  A simple violation could cost you more than just a parking ticket.

"Prices of things are going up already, there seems to be a lot of inflation across the whole country so it's going to be more money out of people's pockets, that is for sure," said Mike Mivsek who parks downtown.

In December, Cleveland City Council approved a hike in fees for towing companies who work for the city of Cleveland to hook illegally parked cars in addition to those involved in crimes.

"We're a big city and this is a necessary service," said Cleveland City Councilman Martin Keane of Ward 19.

Here is the breakdown of the new rates.  A standard tow in 2012, cost $90.00, that rate has now increased to $100.00.  If your car is towed because you were arrested, you'll have to fork over $150.00.

"These operators provide a service in less than best circumstances and you know they work hard, so it is not on them, it is not on us, nobody is getting rich here, it is just the cost of doing business," Keane said.

This is the first tow increase in the city since 2006 and these new rates are comparable with other suburb towing fees.  A big reason for the increase has to do with the time and effort it takes for the tow truck operators to hook your vehicle.

"The dolly process takes more time and equipment from the operators and they consistently say that's a significant cost to them," said Keane.

Not everybody is a fan of the increased rates, but everyone knows it's the sign of the times.

"It is a little costly but if we want to be a big city, I guess we have to charge the big prices," said Caringi.

By March, the City of Cleveland hopes to have a one-stop processing unit on Quigley Road where you can to take care of any towing issues that occurred within the City of Cleveland.

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