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Towing contract grinds gears

Some local providers question contract that sets rates for working with town

— The new contract calls for towing operators working with the town to fence in their lots where vehicles are stored, but Helligrass said because of the cost of the fence and zoning issues they are giving the businesses until the year is up to have the fences installed.

Helligrass said Bleau was issued a notice from the town because his former garage was zoned commercial and for the past few years he has working out of his home. He has also been storing the vehicles on a lot of land that is partially owned by National Grid, he said.

Bleau’s is still in business and still being allowed to work with the police department, but he can no longer store cars on his property. For now, he is storing them at T.A.C.S.

“I’m losing a lot of money by not being able to store the cars myself,” said Bleau. “I don’t know why I can’t just be left alone until I retire. I’m 82, it’s not like it’s going to be that much longer.”

Matt Ungerer, co-owner of T.A.C.S. in Glenmont, said he doesn’t have an issue with the current towing contact because auto specialists don’t do enough towing business to make it affect them. He did add that he planned to expand his towing business within the year and is working on purchasing property and getting it properly zoned.

Bleau said he is not willing to compromise on the contract and that he was on the verge of suing the town to attempt to get rid of it. He too said he originally signed on because he would be missing out on too much business if he didn’t.

Geist said he would like to see the contract renegotiated next year. He said he would like to see the fee changed, and if possible, raise the cap that was placed on towing charges.

“We can re-do it,” said Helligrass. “We just had to start somewhere. I said we could renegotiate after the first year. I could see the fee going up to $200. I don’t think that’s out of line. We just have to be fair for everyone involved.”

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