Springdale Police pick wrecker service
SPRINGDALE — The Police Department has selected a wrecker service to exclusively contract with.
The City Council Committee recommended Monday the council approve next week a resolution that will enable the Springdale Police Department to enter into a contract with NWA Towing.
The Police Department had formed a committee to research contracting with a single wrecker company to handle all non-consent vehicle tows for the Police Department.
The department received proposals from 14 local wrecker companies. The committee chose four to do an in-person presentation. The four contenders were further narrowed down to two finalists, and the state’s towing board conducted onsite inspections of the two companies. The committee selected NWA Towing and Recovery of Fayetteville with a 3-1 vote, Police Chief Mike Peters said in a letter to Mayor Doug Sprouse.
Alderman Jim Reed asked Peters why a Springdale company wasn’t chosen. Peters said NWA Towing and Recovery will be opening a location in Springdale.
Alderman Mike Overton, who was on the wrecker committee, said he was the dissenting vote against NWA Towing. He said one of the reasons he voted against NWA Towing is because that company also has the city contract with Fayetteville and he doesn’t think they should have a monopoly on city contracts.
Capt. Derek Hudson, who spoke to the council committee alongside Peters, said NWA Towing has been on the wrecking service rotation his department has been using.
“NWA Towing is one of the larger companies in the area. They have the ability and capital to expand that business in what I feel is a reasonable manner,” Hudson said.
Hudson said he wants to give NWA Towing a reasonable amount of time, preferably within six months, to open a Springdale location.
Hudson said the contract is for five years, but it allows for the Police Department to re-evaluate and renegotiate every year.
“Either party can terminate the contract at any point if they so choose with a 60day notice,” Hudson said.
The department held a public hearing on the issue in April. Many wrecking service owners criticized the single wrecker contract idea, saying it will hurt their business. However, Peters said his department needed a system that would be more manageable as well as cost-effective for residents.
The Police Department has been rotating 19 wrecker companies for non-consent towing, including accidents, stalled vehicles and vehicle seizures.
“The 19 services all have their own fees, different charges, so if you have a two-vehicle accident and we have two wrecker companies come, then charges can be quite different, one can be a lot higher than the other,” Peters said in April. “So that’s not really fair to the public to have that discrepancy in cost.”
The committee also recommended a Federal Aviation Administration grant be approved. The grant will provide $207,450 to the Springdale Municipal Airport, according to the grant resolution inside the committee’s agenda packet.
The money will be used for airport runway rejuvenation design work, not construction.
“The Springdale Municipal Airport Commission has determined there is a need to rehabilitate the runway and reconstruct the runway lighting,” the resolution states.
The current runway lighting works fine, but will be replaced with LED lights, which last longer and are less expensive to operate, said Neil Johnson, commission chairman.
The grant will pay for 90 percent of the design project. The commission plans to apply for a grant from the State of Arkansas Department of Aeronautics to pay for the remaining 10 percent, the resolution states.