An ordinance to limit vehicle immobilization fees to $40, first discussed during the city council’s Sept. 18 work session, was deferred 6-0 after public speakers stepped up to the mike Tuesday.
Anthony Leete, owner of Marietta-based Atlanta Impound, said $50 would be acceptable for passenger vehicles weighing 12,000 pounds or less.
However, he said 75,000-pound tractor-trailers will only be encouraged to occupy shopping centers’ customer parking spaces if a $500 booting fee is kicked out of the city.
“All these truckers tell each other over the radio where they can and cannot park,” he said. “If they find out that Sandy Springs is only $40 for booting, they’re all going to come back again.”
In that case, the shopping center owners will have to shell out to repave their lots, Leete said.
“The weight and the stress of these vehicles in the shopping centers breaks up the pavement,” he said.
In addition, Leete said his own business will suffer.
“Dropping this fee down to $40 is going to put me out of business,” he said. “If I’m out of business, there’s going to be a lot of problems on the city as far as tractor-trailers are concerned.”
Justine Petrushka of the Highgate at Sandy Springs condominiums, which also uses Atlanta Impound, supported a $100 booting fee which the community instituted in 2010.
“We’ve recouped unpaid dues, due in large part to booting and towing,” she said about fees used for capital improvements. “Our property has come a long way.”
During the work session following the regular meeting, the city council approved the plan for T-39, a $1 million project which will put a traffic signal at the Mount Vernon Highway-Spalding Drive intersection by spring 2014.
At an average of five crashes a year, the three-way stop has the highest accident rate in the city, said Public Works Director Kevin Walter.
The plan was the subject of controversy at a Sept. 5 town hall meeting in District 1, which is represented by City Councilman John Paulson.
“There are some people in this area that do not want anything to happen,” he said.
The matter will be on the Oct. 16 Sandy Springs City Council consent agenda.