FREDERICK, Md. - The city of Frederick had nearly 100 cars towed from emergency snow routes in Frederick over the weekend, but what really caught owners by surprise was a fee tacked on to their recovery bills in the name of COVID-19.
One Reddit user said, "This bill is almost humorous. There's a line item that reads COVID: $40."
The city confirmed the fee is legal and that city aldermen passed a law allowing it during the pandemic emergency in January.
Several drivers in Frederick told FOX 5 they didn't think tacking on the extra fee was fair.
"Going and paying the fee and then getting one on top of that. It feels a little excessive," said Sarah Jacobson.
The city's police department contracts with a rotating list of tow companies, including Vinny's Towing. Owner Vinny Flook tells FOX 5 the fee help address skyrocketing costs related to cleaning and PPE. He says it's not about making money, but recouping pandemic-related losses.
The city said it gave drivers 22-hours notice before towing started on Sunday and that the best way to find out about such emergencies is to sign up for text alerts on the city's website.