August 11, 2014 – Rob Earnshaw
More revenue is headed Hammond’s way after the City Council on Monday passed an ordinance raising city towing fees.
All police-ordered tow fees have gone up and will go into effect on Jan. 1. A regular tow/flat bed tow will cost $180, an increase of $55.
Service calls will rise from $75 to $100. Inside storage goes from $40 to $50 per day while outside storage increases from $30 to $40 per day. Other fee hikes include oil dry ($35 to $40), winching ($60 to $75), use of “Go Jack” equipment ($60 to $70) and cleanup ($30 to $40).
The city is also putting its towing contracts up for re-bid.
At the previous council meeting Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said the increased fees would be an opportunity for Hammond to raise revenue after having its property tax revenue decrease from what used to be $42 million a year to $22 million “which is alarmingly low,” he said.
In other news the council passed an ordinance putting zoning provisions in place for the $20 million development of a four-story, 125-unit senior assisted living building on the corner of Hyles Boulevard and Sohl Avenue. The project is contingent on the developer receiving tax credits. Approving the ordinance is a step required in that process.
The council also passed a resolution designating the area where Munster Steel is relocating as an economic revitalization area. It’s a preliminary step for Munster Steel to apply for a personal property tax abatement.
Munster Steel’s new location is at West Point Plaza Industrial Park. It’s moving from 45th Street and Calumet Avenue in Munster which clears the way for the town’s realignment project at that intersection.
Representatives from Munster Steel said the company employs about 40 people who are relocating to Hammond in the next six to eight weeks and plans to hire seven more in the next three years. Salaries average about $40,000 a year plus benefits, representatives told the council.