Florida Keys

Higher tow rates likely coming to Key West

Under the proposal, mopeds, motorcycles and cars weighing 10,000 pounds or less would cost $135 for towing, up from $100.
Under the proposal, mopeds, motorcycles and cars weighing 10,000 pounds or less would cost $135 for towing, up from $100. KeysInfoNet

Illegally parking in the Southernmost City might soon cost more money.

A revised ordinance up for a first reading at Wednesday night’s Key West City Commission meeting would raise non-consensual towing rates across the city.

Under the proposal, mopeds, motorcycles and cars weighing 10,000 pounds or less would cost $135 for towing, up from $100. Vehicles between 10,001 and 20,000 pounds would cost $200, up from $150, and vehicles more than 20,000 pounds would cost $485, up from $360.

"It's been a number of years since the [towing] companies have asked for an increase," said City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who sponsored the item.

Weekley noted that most people in his district ride a bicycle, and those that drive "pretty much pay attention to the way they're parking."

Doris Arnold, who owns Arnold's Towing on Stock Island, said the potential increase is nothing "grandiose" but rather an effort to match Monroe County's non-consensual towing rates.

"We ask the city to match the county so the prices are uniform," Arnold said.

The county approved new towing rates, in line with what's proposed in Key West's revised ordinance, in June. In unincorporated Monroe, the only difference is a per-mile charge depending on the weight class. Vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less carry a $3 per-mile charge, vehicles weighing between 10,001 pounds and 20,000 pounds carry a $4 per-mile charge and vehicles weighing more than 20,000 pounds carry a $5 per-mile charge.

Also tonight, the City Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the purchase of a Pierce pumper fire truck costing $583,125, including radio equipment. The new truck would replace a nine-year-old unit.

The City Commission meets at Old City Hall on Greene Street at 6 p.m.

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