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Low fees force wrecker operators to abandon KSAMC

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Low fees force wrecker operators to abandon KSAMC

By CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS
Observer writer

Monday, March 25, 2019

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THE motor vehicle impound facility at the corner of Church and Barry streets, operated by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), is in shambles, and for the operations to improve a report has recommended that the low fees paid by the facility to wrecker companies must be immediately increased to match the fees paid by the Transport Authority.

The report prepared by Lebert McKenzie, financial research specialist at the KSAMC for the KSAMC Commercial Services Committee meeting on March 19, said that the revenue earned at the facility has been declining because of the low rates paid to wrecker companies in comparison to the rates these companies can earn from the Transport Authority.

At one time, 11 wrecker companies and 22 wreckers were contracted to the KSAMC car impound facility, but currently only one company with three wreckers operates there.

The fee structure at the KSAMC impound facility has been in place since 2003, and “it might be extremely difficult to attract additional wrecking companies should the KSAMC wish to go to tender for such services”, the report stated.

“The rates charged by the Transport Authority wrecker companies range between 281-471 per cent more than that paid by the KSAMC,” the report stated.

The report said that despite a security company being employed to secure vehicles stored at the KSAMC location, vehicles stored there were at times vandalised.

The report also noted that 52 vehicles currently remain at the pound because they have not been claimed by their owners, and they “impede the operations of the wreckers in depositing towed vehicles”.

“The situation has actually reached the stage whereby the entrance of the pound is now being used for the storage of vehicles,” the report said.

The office and bathroom at the facility also need to be repaired, and the staff members need a computer and a printer to effectively function and meet deadlines.

“The ability to provide accurate and timely reports is important to the management decision-making process; however, the facility operates without a computer. The environment is one which generates volumes of data, yet all reports are manually tabulated and handwritten and, as such, are subject to errors and inaccuracies.”

At the meeting, Duane CE Smith, the chairman of the Commercial Services Committee, promised to redouble his efforts for the staff accommodation to be improved.

Smith urged the councillors to study the report for discussion at the April meeting of the committee.

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