BACKGROUND: The purpose of the tow services contract is to provide Police-initiated vehicle towing and storage for the Fremont Police Department in the interest of preserving public safety and enforcement of state law. In response to competition for the tow contracts and issues raised by the tow companies, research was conducted in early 2011 to improve the RFP process for this service. Council approved transitioning from a zone towing system, which limited the number of vendors, to a rotational program, thus allowing all qualified tow contractors to participate. Because of the increased number of tow vendors, the number of required storage spaces for each vendor was reduced from 75 to 45 spaces.
Staff conducted site visits, background checks, and reviewed the documents provided by the tow vendors to assure all of the qualifications were met. After the vendors were determined qualified, six vendors entered into a contractual agreement to provide tow services for the City in May 2011. The contracted vendors were as follows:
· Allways Towing and Transport
· AM/PM Towing and Recovery
· Central Towing
· Jack James Towing
· Mission Pass Towing and Transport
· Pro Star Towing
The term of the contract was originally eighteen months in order to evaluate the new rotational system. Since that time, the rotational tow system and current vendors have provided adequate service. In November 2012, the contract was extended an additional two months in Amendment No. 1, in order to allow staff time to obtain and convert the rates in the multiple CHP contracts to an average, as listed in Exhibit D of Amendment No. 2.
DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS: A meeting with the vendors occurred in July 2012, at which time it was determined there was a mutual interest to renew the contracts with minor amendments. The vendors requested they not be required to maintain a payphone on the property. Fremont is the only municipality with this requirement, which is a costly one for the vendors, and there has been little to no usage of the payphones.
Staff proposed an increase to the tow and storage fee schedule based on the vendor fees listed in the towing contracts for each vendor utilized by the California Highway Patrol, Hayward office. In addition, the proposed language would require the City to review and adjust the fees on an annual basis. Rather than returning to Council to annually adjust the fee, the Chief of Police would have authority to set the fee at the average of the rates used by the CHP contract at the time of review. The attached Exhibit D Fee Schedule reconciles the classifications of the CHP schedule with those in the Fremont contract.
The current contract automatically disqualifies tow truck drivers who have been convicted of or have criminal charges pending against them. Language is proposed to afford the Chief of Police the authority to review convictions and pending criminal charges on a case-by-case basis. This would allow discretion to exclude or permit participation in the program depending on the crime and length of time since the incident in question.
All the proposed amendments to the contract were deemed acceptable by all vendors. None of the modifications affect the operational guidelines of the vendors.
Historically, the term of tow contracts has been thirty-six to sixty months. The term of the existing tow contracts is proposed to be extended from the original eighteen months to thirty-six months, with two optional one-year extensions, for a total of sixty months. Since the contracts began on May 9, 2011, the contracts would expire at the latest on May 8, 2016. Following the expiration of these contracts, the Police Department plans to rebid the contract every five years in order to provide opportunities for new tow truck companies to participate in the program.
FISCAL IMPACT: None. The tow and storage fees are charged to the public by the towing company.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW: None required.