Newport has accepted a bid from Newport-based Fender’s Wrecker Service to provide towing services for the city.
This agreement is specifically for vehicles towed by the city and calls for the company to provide the city towing service for five years, with the option to renew for an additional one-year term.
The agreement does not prohibit other vendors from operating in the city for non-city-related business.
Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said that Fender’s had served the city for many years. After their previous contract expired, the city put the towing services out for bid, but Fender’s was the only company to bid.
“They are located within the city of Newport, and they respond very quickly when the police department or fire or whatever department needs their services, they are able to respond very quickly,” Fromme said. “So, we’ve been really satisfied with their service for many years.”
Fender’s is located at 927 Park Ave. in Newport, and cars can be retrieved from them Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, Newport Police Chief Chris Fangman said that the police department could help residents get their vehicles outside of business hours.
“We will bend over backward to our best ability—especially if you run into situations where somebody might be from out of town—we do everything we possibly can depending on what we can do at the time,” Fangman said.
He added that the front office staff could help get residents to their vehicles by appointment with the police department. Residents must bring in their proper paperwork, which includes things like their car registration.
Newport City Commissioner Ken Rechtin asked if the city was comfortable with Fender’s bid as it was the only one they received. Newport City Solicitor Daniel Braun said from what he recalls when looking at the bid documents, what Fender’s was charging was in the “bounds of reasonableness.” The company also provides services for other local municipalities, according to Fromme.
Fangman added that there is a state law on towing, so the company cannot price gouge.