The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) is exploring the possibility of creating its own impound lot in order to facilitate the ability to tow vehicles parked illegally.
“I'm expecting that this summer we're gonna have a huge influx of visitors again and we're going to see a lot of parking problems along our waterfront. And, I think we do need the ability to tow,” said the TBM Mayor Alar Soever, during a recently held TBM Police Services board meeting.
Soever added that towing would only be considered as a last resort but said he wants the town to have the policy and signs in place. The mayor suggested tow-away zones would be a "huge deterrent" to parking illegally.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of discussion around the council table in regards to dangerous parking taking place throughout the municipality.
“With the influx of trail users and people who want to enjoy the natural amenities, it’s really affecting the parking on roads and in particular, in rural areas,” said TBM CAO Shawn Everitt.
Everitt said town staff have recently begun working through the logistics of what it would take to create a towing policy, as well as a local impound yard.
“There's a lot of work involved in doing that. And, whether or not that is the next step to this, I believe it would be beneficial if we had an ability for cars to be towed,” Everitt said.
According to Soever, staff are sizing up the town-owned land located to the south of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment and fire station - at 364 Clark Street in Clarksburg – as a potential impound lot location.
“There's a significant amount of area there. That being said, it is constrained currently with some drainage,” Everitt added.
Town staff are also actively working with a number of different parties to explore the possibility of creating more options for parking in hotspot areas, including in and around Metcalfe Rock, Pretty River Valley and Loree Forest.
Members of the local OPP detachment added that the town should also consider what possible security issues could arise with owning and operating an impound lot but were supportive of the concept.