published Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Jasper, Tenn., writing wrecker policy

JASPER, Tenn. -- After an area wrecker service owner asked to be put on Jasper's list for towing, city officials discovered there is no written policy for approving businesses to do that work.

City Attorney Mark Raines said he researched a model policy from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and eliminated items that did not apply to Jasper.

"I cut it down some, but I also need for [police Chief Tim Graham] to review it and make some suggestions," Raines said.

Officials said the policy will require approved wrecker services be within city limits so the work can be done quickly.

Raines said a "reasonable restriction" also would require a storage area.

"If this wrecker service comes out at the town's request, the town name is kind of behind that," he said. "So, it's pretty important that you have reputable services coming out."

Michael Matthews, owner of Glenn's Towing & Recovery in Guild, Tenn., made the request that prompted the new rules.

He agrees a written policy is a good idea. "I think [Jasper] is doing the right thing by trying to copy what the state does," he said.

Wrecker services now working for Jasper will have to comply with the new rules also whenever they are approved, officials said, but all three work under the state's policy already and are within the city limits.

Raines said the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen could vote on the new rules as early as its next regularly scheduled meeting on April 8.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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