Bar Tow Policy Worries Business Neighbors

A tow policy by a Benson bar has some neighbors worried about the the reputation of the business district on busy weekend nights.The tow company claims its following city ordinance. The bar owner tells Fact Finders he wants to meet with the President of the Benson Business Association.

The co-owner of Fullhouse bar Tom Nolan said he need his lot for only his customers so anyone who parks there needs to stop at his bar first. Nolan said, "Park in the lot,come in here first and have a few drinks then go any place in Benson you want. Nolan said other bars in the area need to provide more parking for their customers so they don't park in his lot and risk being towed.

The driver of a car towed a couple of weeks ago claims she and her boyfriend did just that and still got towed. Megan Christensen told Fact Finders, "We had been in the bar, had a few drinks before we went to a concert. There's nothing on the signs that said you need to check in or register with anybody at the bar."

The President of The Benson Business Association Kurt Goetzinger said facebook posts are blowing up with comments about the tow policy. However Omaha Police Captain Shayne Ray said there aren't any reports filed alleging illegal towing. Captain Ray said, "No nothing at all and if we're notified of any issues we will investigate."

Robert Woosley of Auto Rescue said he follows the city ordinance.
The law allows tow companies to charge $150 for towing, $25 for an administrative fee and $15 a day for storage. Tack on tax and the basic tow impound is about $200 but can be larger depending on how many days the tow company hold the car until the owner pays to have it released.

Former Omaha City Prosecutor Marty Conboy wrote much of the city's tow ordinance. He told Fact Finders that tow companies must provide a receipt if a car owner asked for one. However there is nothing that restricts a tow company from demanding cash payment.

The bar owner said he's looking at options like posting attendants but said he shouldn't have to pay more for patrons of other bars to park.

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