MORRIS – The city of Morris will now collect an administrative fee up to $300 from every resident whose vehicle is towed or impounded by local police.
The Morris City Council passed Tuesday an amendment to the ordinance regulating the impounding and towing of vehicles, adding a clause that allows for the fee.
Those with Class 1 violations – including driving while under the influence, fleeing an officer and no valid driver’s license – will owe the city an additional $150 once their vehicle is towed.
Those with Class 2 violations, which encompass drug seizures and more, will owe the city an additional $300.
The city will use the added revenue to help cover the costs of administering the towing appeal process, a process the city has not administered in the past, City Attorney Scott Belt said Tuesday.
Typically, when an offender has their car towed or impounded, they can challenge or appeal the city’s decision to tow the car.
Previously, this appeal process would go through the court system and be heard by a judge. However, recent changes to state law allow residents to appeal their car’s impounding through an administrative hearing at the local level.
The change from court proceeding to administrative hearing is a new policy for the city.
“It’s basically providing the city with a little flexibility in conducting its own due process hearing,” Belt told the council.
The city’s administrative fee will be paid in addition to whatever amount the offender owes the towing company for its services and storage, Morris police Deputy Chief John Severson explained to members of the Judiciary and License Committee, prior to city council.
“It’s just an additional fee trying to recoup some of those administrative costs,” Severson said.
In other action, the council also approved the business license for a new donut shop to be located on Creek Drive in Morris.
The new shop will be doing business as Country Glaze and will be operated by Anne Tien, who attended the judiciary committee Tuesday.
“She’s done it before and her family has done it for years,” alderman Don Matteson told the aldermen.
The “old-fashioned donut shop” is scheduled to open sometime in October, Tien said.