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Holiday Hills latest to consider tow fee

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

HOLIDAY HILLS – The village of Holiday Hills is looking at a tow fee and an in-house adjudication process to help cover the costs of its police department, its police chief said.

Police Chief Larry Mason presented the two ideas to the Village Board at its meeting Monday evening.

Both proposals are in the review stage, and Mason didn’t have a timeline for when they’d be brought up for a vote.

The proposals are part of an ongoing trend as more municipalities look to recoup costs.

By bringing the adjudication process in-house, the village wouldn’t have to send the officers to the county courthouse for ordinance violations. Officers also could decide to charge some offenses under a village ordinance instead of state law.

“It’s a win-win because it costs the individual a lot less,” Mason said. “It wouldn’t go on their record and may not be sent to the Secretary of State and affect their insurance rates.”

On the village’s end, it would get to keep more of the money raised through fines instead of sharing it with the county and state, though some of it would go toward the costs of running the hearings, including hiring an attorney to serve as the judge.

The village would need to create a list, standardizing what the fines would be for different violations, Mason said.

An administrative tow fee also would help the village cover its costs, Mason said, adding that the person who is arrested would cover the cost, not taxpayers at large.

Many municipalities in McHenry County charge $500, but the village board hasn’t decided on a number, he said.

Holiday Hills would be the latest in a growing number of communities to implement a tow fee. Both Cary and Wonder Lake added $500 administrative tow fees this year, and Spring Grove upped its fee to $350 from $250.

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