At its meeting Tuesday night, the Sandy Springs City Council voted 6-0 to set a fee schedule for booting fees in the city, ranging from $75 to $450 per day. Before, the city had a towing ordinance in which illegally parked vehicles were fined.
“The goal of the police department is to protect the public from unreasonable practices of a few impound agencies that would use vehicle immobilization devices,” said Police Chief Terry Sult. “We’re just looking for some regulation that sets a standard that protects the citizens but protects the businesses as well.”
The ordinance previously considered charging vehicle owners a $40 per day boot fee.
Sult said he researched booting fees in other cities. Marietta charges $50; Roswell $35; Atlanta $75 and Charlotte, N.C., $50, according to Sult.
District 1 Councilman John Paulson spoke with Anthony Leete, owner of Marietta-based Atlanta Impound, about fees prior to the meeting.
“He said $40 isn’t enough money,” said Paulson. “His standard rate is $75.”
The council adopted a resolution that set a fee schedule for booting, so as to discourage semi-trucks from parking in local parking lots and streets, breaking down the asphalt.
The fee schedule puts a $75 maximum booting fee per day on cars and trucks less than 10,000 pounds and a $150 maximum fee for vehicles weighing between 10,001 and 20,000 pounds. Vehicles weighing 20,001 pounds or more will be charged a maximum fee of $300, and combination trucks, with a tractor and trailers, will be charged a maximum fee of $450 per day.
In other news, Sult presented a proposed false alarm ordinance to the council.
The ordinance would penalize homeowners or business owners who continually falsely set off their alarm, which police respond to.
“Alarm calls account for 20 percent of all of our calls, and 96 percent of those are false,” said Sult. “It costs us about 4,500 to 4,600 hours in manpower annually.”
Sult proposed that owners of alarms must register their alarms with the city. This way, there will be a point of contact for responding officers. It will also allow for police to impose a fee if the alarm is false.
Sult proposed that the first and second false alarms will not lead to a fine, but the third through fifth ones will lead to a $50 fee. The sixth alarm will be $100, and the seventh $150. The fees increase in increments of $100 thereafter, with 10 or more false alarms incurring a $500 fee. A $100 fee would be levied to owners who do not register their alarms.
The council will make a motion on the proposed ordinance at its Dec. 18 meeting.