If you have a growing stack of unpaid parking tickets, or are prone to ignoring city bylaws, you should be aware that the City of Saskatoon is towing more and more vehicles.
City Hall is on pace to impound almost 4,000 vehicles this year, a 20 per cent increase since 2008. This year, more than 80 per cent of seized vehicles will be claimed by the owners.
The details come in an annual update on the Municipal Impound Lot operations presented this week to a committee at city hall.
According to the report, the city has been towing and seizing vehicles since 2008, when the Provincial Government enacted changes to The Summary Offences Procedure Act and The Cities Act.
Over the last five years, the number of vehicles seized is up 20 per cent. This year, the city is on pace to impound about 3,800 vehicles.
The report states that “the increased number of impounded vehicles can be associated with the increase in population.” It goes on to suggest that “winters of heavy snow fall have contributed to towing numbers along with the recent street sweeping program that saw many vehicles towed to the lot.”
The number of vehicles towed is up, but the number of owners claiming them is also on the rise. More than 80 per cent impounded vehicles are now claimed by their owners. The rest are scrapped, or sold at auction.
The Cities Act requires that the Municipal Impound Lot operates on a neutral basis. The lot will require an operating budget of more than $800 thousand dollars this year.