By Gretchen Wehmhoff
Abandoned vehicles and trailers on Skagway’s streets will finally have a home – in an impound lot.
Vehicles that have been parked for 30 days without moving will be impounded. Trailers will have a 24 hour window to be moved. Motorhomes are also not permitted to park on streets.
Once impounded, SPD will make efforts to contact the last registered owner of the property or vehicle to let them know it was a nuisance vehicle. After 30 days of impound, MOS will be able to take ownership. Tickets will not be issued before impound. If a person wants their property back, they will need to pay an impound fee of $100 then a storage fee of $300.
As of Oct. 19, 45 vehicles have been identified as ready to impound.
Skagway Police (SPD) is communicationg with towing service providers. A quote was received from Capital Towing in Whitehorse. Should SPD contract with Capital, it would cost the muni $750 to get the tow trucks to Skagway, then $120 – $140 per hour depending on the truck used. It is expected that both trucks would be working at the same time.
Should vehicles not be claimed, the MOS will have recourse to pursue fees and damages from the last registered owner of the car.
City Manager Brad Ryan submitted a memo to the assembly asking to use a 5-acre Klondike Highway site. The memo asked for direction from the body.
Chief Reddick explained at the Oct. 19 assembly meeting that SPD plans to put out a public announcement prior to the arrival of the tow company.
“I have a list and we can put the list out that these vehicles will be removed if not moved before we get there. We’ll try every avenue we can but 45 cars and trailers throughout the city is too many for us to handle,” Reddick said.
Sgt. Ken Cox warns that all communication, fees and fines will be addressed to the last registered owner of the vehicle that is impounded. He recommends that people make sure that previously owned vehicles are no longer registered in their name.
When a car or trailer is sold, Cox says it’s important to notify DMV that it has been sold either at the Alaska DMV site online or by sending in the bottom part of the title with the new owner’s information to the DMV. This could protect people should the new owner not register it in their name and the car gets ticketed, impounded or is involved in a crime.
Cox says the city provides a service that will take a vehicle for a fee. The Removal of a Vehicle Application is on the MOS site. The owner will need to hand over the title and ownership to the borough. If the owner can’t find the title, they can apply for a lost title through DMV at the police station. Giving the vehicle to the MOS could be less expensive than an impound event.
The assembly approved the Klondike Highway location at the Oct.19 meeting.
Vehicles that become the property of the MOS may be subject to auction, crushing and/or disposal via a barge trip south.