April 02. 2013 11:21PM

Manchester fees jump to tow illegally parked cars

New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER - The aldermen have given the go-ahead for a 57 percent increase in the fees towing companies are allowed to charge when they haul away illegally parked cars. The hike was approved at Tuesday's meeting without debate as part of the board's consent agenda.

The Manchester Police Department proposed the fee hike, saying it would bring the charges in line with those of surrounding communities. The towing fees were last raised in 2005.

Towing companies contract with local police departments to remove cars during snow emergencies and when they are illegally parked for an extended period of time.

The fees would go from $70 to $110. For tows during non-business hours, the fee would go from $85 to $125. The daily storage fee would go from $25 to $30, and the fee for releasing the vehicle during non-business hours would be hiked from $25 to $40.

In making the case for the higher fees, Police Chief David Mara had cited a survey his department conducted of other cites and towns.

In Concord, towing companies are allowed to charge $145 for a standard tow and $120 for snow emergencies, according to the data Mara had presented to the aldermen, In Nashua, the rate is $125 for a regular tow and $95 for a snow emergency removal.

Bedford police tows are $125, and in Londonderry, the rate is $105.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately.