CS City Council Approves Going With Only Two Tow Truck Companies

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*10 P.M. Update*

Some tow truck companies are unhappy after the College Station City Council voted 5 - 2 to enter into a contract with just two companies for all city-related tows.

Some of the companies say it could put them out of business.

News 3 attended the meeting where tensions were pretty high.

Around 20 people spoke during the hear citizens segment of the meeting with many speaking out against the plan which was supported by College Station Police.

Several residents did speak in favor of the plan saying they'd had bad experiences with some of the companies but most were upset with what they say is the city giving a monopoly to just two tow truck companies.

Under the approved plan Kalinec Towing also known as A-1 Towing and Excel Towing will now have exclusive rights to tow city-generated calls.

That will be for calls like accident scenes that require police as well as when College Station city vehicles have to be towed.

Most of the towing companies in attendance were disappointed.

"The tow company owners were never allowed to interact with the city council members or the city staff. Every time we asked for a workshop or asked for an open meeting or asked for any kind of meeting we were always referred to the police," said Sandra Portzer, Co-owner of Roadrunner's Towing and Recovery.

"Well primarily when you have that many wreckers drivers our policy was we would inspect all those wreckers, when you have that many wreckers then it is more time consuming to inspect all the yards and we felt like that process was needed," said Chief Jeff Capps of the College Station Police Department.

The College Station Police Department says under the old system it took them 256 manhours to do inspections of the various tow truck companies.

They now estimate it will take 22 to 24 hours under this agreement.

The agreement will have to be reviewed every year to two years so other tow truck companies will also be able to compete.

The City of Bryan recently decided to continue to keep their rotation list.

Brazos County also uses a rotation system.

*Previous Story*

A contentious meeting coming Thursday at College Station City Hall as the city considers going with just two tow truck companies for city-related tows.

Right now there are 29.

That's not sitting well with some other local tow truck companies who say it could hurt their business if they're not on the call list.

Ronnie's Towing and Recovery as well as his next door neighbor Precision Towing say the plan in College Station could put some of the towing businesses out of business and will hurt some more than others.

If approved Kalinec Towing also known as A-1 Towing and Excel Towing would be the only tow truck companies to be used by the City of College Station for things like car accidents when police have to arrive on scene.

Other tow truck companies say the current rotation list is fairer for all the local companies and several will be speaking out against the plan Thursday night.

"Every tow company is going to be affected differently. You know some of the tow companies, myself, in particular I would say 25 - 30 percent of my income is on rotations, others it's 50 percent. Some of 'em 100 percent of their income is rotations," said Ronnie Waller, Owner of Ronnie's Towing and Recovery.

Meanwhile College Station is looking at these changes to save money and resources on having to permit 29 different towing companies.

We will have more from City Hall Thursday at 10.

That meeting starts at 7 P.M. Thursday in College Station.

In July the city spent 256 hours over a two week period conducting inspections.