By Moses Leos III
An amendment to the city’s existing ordinance on wrecker companies will help the Kyle Police Department streamline how it works with two truck operations.
Earlier this month, the Kyle City Council approved the changes in the city’s wrecker ordinance by a 4-2 vote. Council members Diane Hervol and Daphne Tenorio voted against the measure.
Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said the amendments were mostly “housekeeping” in nature.
The amendments were completed in response to changes to the city’s wrecker ordinance in March 2015. That update required wrecker companies interested in participating in the city’s wrecker rotation to follow certain guidelines.
Those included applying to be considered on the rotation, and that companies must have a vehicle storage facility (VSF) within city limits.
Barnett said the new amendments “cleaned up a few small operating procedures.”
“It was to clean up language and updated language to match state law and to properly reference state laws that regulate,” Barnett said.
One of the amendments included prohibiting tow truck companies from calling the city’s dispatch center to voice complaints about the city’s rotation. Prior to the passage of the amendments, he said tow truck companies were “regularly” lodging “complaints or anonymous complaints for all kinds” of state and local violations against other tow truck companies.
“We are way too busy to handle those types of complaints (at the dispatch center),” Barnett said.
He went on to add that any complaints made by wrecker companies should be submitted to the department in writing.
Other changes include narrowing down contact information for wrecker companies to one number. The amendments also require wrecker companies and VSFs to be in compliance with all other codes and regulations prior to the issuance of a tow truck permit in Kyle.
“In order to renew or to get a new tow truck permit in Kyle, companies must be in compliance with all city codes,” Barnett said.
Council also directed staff to look into the possibility of creating a city owned and operated tow truck and a VSF.
With a possible city owned VSF, Barnett said it could allow the department to take all police initiatied tows to that facility. Other tows would go to the VSF of the tow truck company on rotation.
Barnett said the department is in the “process of waiting for review” and plans to present the idea to council “later this summer.”
“It could take a while to gather credible information to present (to council) and schedule a presentation,” Barnett said.