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July vehicle impounds - $10,000

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

July vehicle impounds - $10,000

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 20, 2012

July was another good month for the Woodstock Police Department, if you call generating $10,000 in vehicle impoundment fees "good". That's 20 vehicles impounded at the $500 hit per vehicle.

Back on January 3 Chief Robert Lowen estimated that his department might impound 50 vehicles in a year, for a total of $25,000 in fees. Through the end of July, the P.D. has gone way over that, creating $55,000 in fees. That equates to 110 vehicles impounded. Should we applaud or hiss?

Do you suppose a Performance Bonus will be paid to the Department or to the top-performing officers?

Several vehicle owners have lost their vehicles because they could not afford the impound fee, towing and storage charges. Is this what the City Fathers had in mind when they approved the new revenue-generation source back in January?

One man told this week that he had to borrow $500 to pay the bond to get his vehicle out of the tow yard. He put up his title as collateral, and now he can't pay off the title-loan company. Guess what? They will take his vehicle.

The City doesn't offer any payment plan for the bond. You don't get your vehicle unless you cough up the entire $500. Until you post the bond, your vehicle sits in the tow yard at, probably, $40.00/day storage fee.

This is a terrible law but, until enough residents protest loudly enough or four councilmen get voted out of office, this travesty of justice will continue.

Whose brainchild do you suppose this was - for Woodstock, I mean?

On top of this, Woodstock Police is now collecting a new Bail Processing Fee. Through the end of July the P.D. has collected $2,640 in this category.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) reportedly said, "Be thankful we are not getting all the government we are paying for."

Well, Will, maybe now we are... and there are plenty of people who are not thankful for it.

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