The Apache Junction Police Department recommended that the city council approve four towing companies to split calls for service, but the council approved an additional business at a meeting April 4.
The council voted 7-0 to approve awarding seven-year contracts to tow vehicles and provide local storage services. Voting yes were Mayor Jeff Serdy, Vice Mayor Chip Wilson and council members Jeff Struble, Gail Evans, Christa Rizzi, Dave Wladron and Robin Barker.
The businesses and location of the local storage facilities are: Big Boyz Towing, 1414 E. 18th Ave.; Apache Sands Towing, 1727 S. Mariposa Road; C.L. King Towing, 216 S. Ironwood Drive; and Phoenix Metro Towing, 2244 W. Apache Trail, all in Apache Junction. The vote also included a fifth, EZEE Towing, 1151 W. Apache Trail, also in Apache Junction.
Dan Saldana, AJPD traffic/administration sergeant, said a request for proposals said the city would enter into contracts with a minimum of three and not more than five service providers that would provide emergency and non-emergency tows.
Councilwoman Rizzi asked why AJPD went with four companies instead of the maximum of five.
“The department feels that four is efficient and the fact that we would be able to administer that number. The towing coordinator will have to manage the contract … and this is going to be one of his collateral duties. He’s going to have other assignments, so we felt four would be a number that was efficient and feasible,” Sgt. Saldana said.
“And … what was the number that we had done in the past?” Councilwoman Rizzi asked.
“The previous contract that had expired already was a five-year contract. We originally had four tow providers,” Sgt. Saldana said.
Councilwoman Evans asked if Apache Sands was the only tow company that has a heavy wrecker.
“We have two companies – Phoenix Metro and Apache Sands have heavy-duty wreckers, that were bidders,” Sgt. Saldana said. “They get used, maybe, once or twice a year. I know in our previous contract, we had a problem with abandoned RVs within the city. We had a few of those every so often,” he said.
During a public hearing on the towing contracts, three people spoke in favor of including a fifth company. Two were from EZEE Towing and one was from Executive Towing, 2244 W. Apache Trail in Apache Junction.
“We added the local tow company on there. It was a good example of democracy in action. They came and presented their case. They had valid points, so we put on a local company. It’s good for the community,” Mayor Serdy said April 5.
Although Executive Towing is also local, Mayor Serdy said: “I think EZEE because of the seniority. They had been here longer. I think that’s why the council went with them.”
•$209,540.59: total amount reported for all contracted tow companies.
•$5,011.89: average monthly for all contracted companies.
•898: amount of tows combined.
•20: average number of tows per month for each company.
Source: Presentation to Apache Junction City Council.
Apache Junction’s request for proposals (PD 2016-04) for towing and vehicle storage services stipulates all tow trucks to be used by the companies shall:
•be equipped with proper implement of dollies, chains, slings, bumpers and other equipment necessary to prevent damage to towed vehicles.
•be equipped with brooms, shovels, sand and other necessary equipment to clean up accident scenes.
•have functional 24 hours communication with AJPD dispatch.
•have available the minimum of a medium-duty wrecker and a lift or some type of rollback tow truck.
Also, all tow trucks used by contract tow companies shall be in compliance with the Arizona Administrative Code and shall be maintained in accordance with Arizona Administrative Code.
Managing Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org