After more than a year in development the Lloyd Town Board passed a new version of a towing law last week. Once a few details are fixed it will be submitted and filed with the state and will take effect in 60 days.
An initial tow law the board previously developed and adopted was challenged by lawyers representing Joseph DiBlanca, of Autos By Joseph, forcing the board to withdraw it and reinstate the previous decades old one while drawing up yet another new law.
At last week’s Town Board meeting DiBlanca’s lawyer Christopher Coleman indicated that his client would object to a provision in the newest version of the tow law that requires tow operators to have both a flatbed truck and a tow truck with a hitch if they wanted to be on the town’s tow list. He said a flatbed should suffice. After discussing this matter with their own attorney, the board backed down, with the law now stating that a towing company must have a flatbed or a tow truck in order to be on the tow list.
The Town Board also capped the tow list at 11 companies after consideration was first given to having 15 on the list. There may also be a discussion in the near future about the town’s guidelines on how much operators can charge per tow.
As of August 18 the town has spent $11,624 with three legal firms while developing the new tow law. This is bound to increase after September’s revisions and an appearance by their lawyer at a recent public hearing at the town hall.
Bob Gorman, representing Gorman’s Garage and the Empire Towing Association, said a tow truck is not used for towing but is primarily used for recovery operations. He suggested the law should stipulate that a tow truck must have a lifting boom and a minimum of 75 ft. of cable. He said there should also be two classifications of trucks – light duty trucks capable of towing up to 10,000 pounds and a second class of medium/heavy vehicles that can handle weights over 10,000 pounds.
Councilman Jeff Paladino said in developing the new law the board has tried to determine what is fair to all involved parties. Although fellow Councilman Kevin Brennie said he is not satisfied with every provision in the new law, he believes that in the long run the law will be a benefit to everybody in town.
By Mark Reynolds
Major upgrades near completion in Wallkill