HAMMOND │ Prepare to pay a little extra to the city of Hammond if your car get towed.
The Hammond City Council on Monday voted 8-0 (Councilman Robert Markovich, D-at large was absent) to raise administrative fees from $20 to $40 for vehicles that have been towed in the city.
Councilwoman Janet Venecz said it marks the first increase in the towing fee since 2004.
The council also voted 8-0 to increase the quarantine fee for biting dogs from $50 to $125 for a 10-day period. It would cost a pet owner an extra $10 for any day extending beyond that.
Hammond resident George Stoya, speaking during the public comment period, was unhappy with the council raising fees for city residents.
“This is getting out of hand here, I feel like I’m being gouged,” he said. I have a problem with this. This is oppressive. How much more money do you want?”
Stoya questioned why the towing fee had to be $40.
“Why not $30?” he asked. “What was wrong with $20? On top of that you have to pay $20 just to get a police report.”
In other news, the council also voted unanimously to authorize the Hammond Fire Department to apply for a 2013 Federal SAFER Grant. Councilman Homero “Chico” Hinojosa, D-6th, said the $965,046 grant would help hire and pay for six new firefighters for two years at no cost to taxpayers.
The council also voted unanimously to reappoint Debbie McGough and Patrick Swibes as commissioners of the Hammond Historic Preservation Commission and to appoint Caryn Janiga to the Hammond Library Board.
Caryn is an employee of the city of Hammond in redevelopment and oversees the HUD dollars, Venecz said, and would be an asset to the Library Board in what is a nonpaid position.