NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – For the first time, Niles Police is auctioning off vehicles in its impound lot to generate funds for the department.
“Once the vehicles aren’t claimed by their owner, there is an established time prescribed by law that allows us then to file for a salvage title for the car because it’s unclaimed,” Captain John Marshall said.
If a person’s vehicle has been impounded, they will receive a letter in the mail warning them. They have to pick it up within ten days with proof of ownership and insurance, a valid driver’s license, a paid receipt from the towing company, cash payment for fees, any court documentation and current registration and license plates.
There are currently four vehicles and an ATV on the online auction block. There is a lot of interest in the ATV, with the bidding up to more than $1,600 with ten days left to go.
“It’s revenue regardless as to what they sell for. It’s something that we acquired without any cost and we’re turning over for some cost to recover our storage and impound fees,” Marshall said.
Money raised from the live auction will go to a fund that is designated for vehicle maintenance and repairs.
“This account was created by ordinance specifically for vehicles, vehicle maintenance and equipment. It can’t be used by any other department in the city and it can’t be used by us for anything other than these specific reasons.”
Eventually, the department hopes to raise enough money to replace the older model cruisers with new ones.
“This would eliminate the necessity of the city putting forward the money to replace one of the vehicles. Also, any of the upgrades of equipment of the ones that are still serviceable no longer has to come from the city’s general fund or department budget.”
Marshall says projections are looking good and they should be able to buy a new cruiser at some point this year.