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Oxford to Work With Property Owner to Reduce Vehicle Tows

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Oxford officials and a private business owner are going to work together to find ways to mark a strip of private parking spaces on the Square to help reduce the number of vehicles being towed.

The city and property owner Mike Bridges will work together to better mark Bridges’ private parking spaces behind Soulshine Pizza. Photo by Alyssa Schnugg.

On Tuesday, Mayor Robyn Tannehill said she received four emails within the last week from people visiting the Square who had their cars towed after parking in spaces they claim are not clearly marked as private.

The parking spaces are located off Tyler Avenue behind Soulshine Pizza along a private drive. The property is owned by Bridge Properties of Lafayette, LLC. While the drive is clearly marked, several of the spots are not marked private. A few signs are located on the building, but they are across the alley from the parking spots.

Tannehill said she wanted to make it clear that the city is not towing vehicles from those spots since they are private property.

“I want our visitors to have a good experience while they are here,” Tannehill said. “So I’m asking the board to the city to look at ways we can better mark those spots as being private.”

Oxford attorney James Justice, speaking on behalf of Bridges, said the problem of people parking in the private spots has gotten worse since the city closed the large public parking area off Jefferson Avenue during the construction of a downtown parking garage.

“We have not had this problem until construction started on the garage,” Justice said. “My client was not aware this was going be a problem. My client is anxious to get rid of this headache. He has contacted Code Enforcement to see what we would be allowed for signage.”

A local man spoke at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting about his experience of being towed from one of the spots recently. He said he didn’t see anything that clearly marked the spots as private. After finding his car towed, he had to walk around to area businesses and ask people if they knew which company was towing vehicles. After calling several, he soon discovered his car was towed by Caine’s Towing.

After calling Caine’s, he was told it would cost $285 to get his vehicle back and that he had to pay cash.

Justice said Bridges does contact with Caine’s Towing, who was represented at Tuesday’s meeting by attorney Tara Scruggs. Scruggs said employees with Caine’s Towing often drive through the private drive to check for unpermitted parkers.

The board voted to allow city crews to put signage up on city property to better mark the private drive and parking spots.


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