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No auto insurance? Police will tow your car

by Dolores Hamilton
Effective immediately, you do not want to be stopped by an Iowa Park police officer if you don’t have valid automobile insurance as required by state law. Not only will you receive a ticket, but now your car will be impounded as well.

Monday night the Iowa Park City Council approved a general order of the Iowa Park Police Department addressing the impoundment of uninsured motor vehicles. It reads as follows:

A. As stated in Section 601 of the Texas Transportation code, drivers who operate a motor vehicle without exhibiting evidence of financial responsibility (valid insurance) are violating the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act. It will be the policy of the Iowa Park Police Department to tow all vehicles that fall under the following conditions:

1. Involved in crashes where the driver failed to maintain financial responsibility.

2. Stopped on a traffic violation where the driver failed to maintain financial responsibility; has previous convictions(s) of FMFR, does not possess a valid driver’s license; or has any outstanding warrant.

A. Officers will always ask for proof of financial responsibility from all vehicle drivers.

B. Officers will make every effort to verify financial responsibility before authorizing impoundment of the vehicle. A citation may be issued if a person failed to maintain financial responsibility and does not meet any of the above conditions.

C. Officers that tow the vehicle of an uninsured motorist will make a reasonable effort to provide an alternate method of transportation for the driver and their occupants. Including but not limited to providing transportation; arranging for transportation; and/or contacting relative, friends or acquaintance of the towed motorist to provide assistance.

Police Chief Robert Johnson said that Iowa Park has two local towing services that are used on a rotation basis, and the impound yards are in Iowa Park and Wichita Falls.

To retrieve the vehicle, the owner must have acquired insurance, then contact the towing service and pay the charges determined by them.

The second and final hearing was held on the annexation of a 2.174-acre tract of land located east of Victoria on the U.S. Hwy. 287 service road.

The land is currently owned by David Parkey who is in the process of selling it to Electra Memorial Hospital for proposed site of a clinic. City Administrator Mike Price said construction on the clinic could start in late fall.

The municipal service plan for the land to be annexed was approved by the council. The plan tells how the city will provide the same services to the annexed area as those currently provided to the citizens of Iowa Park.

In other business, rate changes were made for the city’s bulk water sales. Fees for the sale of bulk water at the water treatment plant were increased and will go into effect with the August billing cycle. The sale of bulk water is primarily for outside-city water customers.

The council authorized an extension to the real estate contract between the city and S-5! Manufacturing to allow additional time to complete an environmental study. Price said the closing date should still be around the last of August.

Soon there will be four additional emergency sirens placed out in the city.
Price said that Wichita Falls was replacing 10 of their units and Iowa Park submitted the high bid and was given the option of purchasing one or more sirens at $751 each.

Price said he, Public Works Director David Sherrill, and Police Chief Robert Johnson picked out the best six to purchase.

Five of the sirens will be placed at the following locations around the city: Wastewater treatment plant on W. Chestnut St.; Gary Compton Softball Field on Bank St.; lift station north of the expressway at FM 368 and access road; Pace Park and Hope Park. The sixth siren will be used for parts.