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Mike Nowatzki, Published December 30 2009

Fargo police tow cars to clear way for plows

Fargo police didn’t waste any time following through on a warning Monday that vehicles left on Broadway after 2 a.m. would be impounded to clear the way for snow removal.

The first vehicle was impounded at 2:05 a.m. Tuesday, and a total of 13 vehicles had been hauled away by 8 a.m., said Lee Anderson, maintenance supervisor for Fargo Public Works.

“We don’t have time to be nice guys this go-around,” he said.

Crews cleared Broadway north to Ninth Avenue and will continue hauling away snow from downtown the rest of the week, starting at 2 a.m. today from NP to Seventh avenues north, he said.

Some vehicles in the city still hadn’t been moved since plows went around them, and Anderson urged owners to dig out and move their vehicles before the next big snowfall.

“We’ve got our hands full with some other things right now, so we’ve looked the other way, but eventually they’re going to become a traffic hazard and we’re going to have to go get ’em,” he said.

The city contracts with Border Cities Service of Fargo for towing.

To get their vehicles out of impound, owners must pay a $70 impound fee, plus $25 if dollies are used, $45 or more if the car had to be dug out of the snow and a $15-per-day storage fee, not counting the first or last 24 hours, Fargo police Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

Police have been tagging snowed-in cars on streets, giving owners of the so-called “snowbirds” 72 hours to move them before they’re towed, Sgt. Joe Anderson said.

Police also issued a reminder for residents to follow seasonal and night parking restrictions to aid snow removal efforts.

Moorhead police did five storm-related vehicle impoundments from Thursday to Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Chief Shannon Monroe said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528