PG board OKs impound lots, fee for vehicles
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Dec 11, 2013, 12:52
PRINCE GEORGE — The Prince George Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the operation of a vehicle impound facility on Union Branch Road for matters related to the non-payment of personal property taxes, as well as to administrate a daily storage fee for county regulated impound facilities, on Tuesday night.
As part of a special exception, this new facility will be located at the Convenience Site at 3100 Union Branch Road and will be headed by the Treasurer’s Office effective immediately.
No more than 20 personal property vehicles or other taxable items can be stored in the facility at any given time.
The facility must be screened from public right of ways, occupied dwellings or residentially zoned property through the use of security fencing, evergreen trees, walls or other structures.
The board also voted to implement a $20 daily storage fee for the two county vehicle impound facilities in Prince George.
In addition to the facility on Union Branch Road, the board recently voted in October to operate another impound facility on the County Government Complex to be used primarily by the police department for vehicles impounded in regards to county court cases or asset forfeitures.
Previously, there were no functioning county-regulated impound facilities in Prince George, and residents whose vehicles were impounded had to find transportation to the Tidewater region to pick them up and pay a fee much greater than the $20, according to multiple members of the board.
Commercial impoundment lots in the area charge $35-50 per day, said Bill Hamby, director of general services for Prince George County.
“In general, from a customer service perspective, this should work better for the citizens,” Hamby said.
Chairman Bill Robertson expressed concerns that it would be unfair to charge citizens the storage fee before their vehicle was released for pick-up.
A representative for the police department said that they have no intention of charging a fee for impounded vehicles at the government complex site that have been court ordered or seized for investigation, however this fee will allow them the opportunity to charge citizens who fail to pick up their vehicle once it is released from investigation.
If a fee is imposed at either vehicle impound site, “the charge begins when the car is eligible to be picked up,” said County Attorney Steve Micas.
At the Union Branch facility, vehicle owners must make the necessary property tax payments before they can pick up their vehicles.
If the personal property taxes continue to go unpaid, the Treasurer’s Office will either have the vehicle or taxable items sold at an onsite auction or delivered to a metals recycling facility, according to planning manager for community development and code compliance Douglas Miles.