Free towing will help clean up junk vehicles |

Free towing will help clean up junk vehicles

Officers have tagged 101 abandoned vehicles since January in Nevada County.

“It’s a pretty big problem, but it’s not as bad as it was,” said Taryn Evans, the county’s code compliance program manager.

Last year, 657 abandoned vehicles were towed from county land and an additional 500 were towed off private property, Evans said.

Usually, vehicle owners must pay a fee to get their junk vehicles towed, leading some people to abandon them. But two towing companies – Celestial Valley Towing and Kilroy’s Towing – are helping to clean up the county by offering free towing for a limited time.

Celestial Valley will tow junk cars and buses located within a 10-mile radius of Grass Valley for free starting Monday and continuing through April 16. Travel trailers and mobile homes are included in the deal.

There will be a small fee for towing services to more distant areas such as Lake of the Pines, Washington and the North San Juan Ridge, Celestial owner Doug Bigley said. His company accepts junk cars for free every day, year round, if owners bring them in.

“We pretty much specialize in getting rid of stuff people can’t get rid of,” Bigley said.

Kilroy’s Towing will accept owner-delivered vehicles for free until March 30.

With rising prices being offered for scrap metal, wrecking companies can afford to offer such a service, Bigley and Evans said.

Last year, Celestial Towing crushed and shipped 4,000 cars to Utah, where the scrap metal is melted down to make rebar and roofing, Bigley said.

In addition to the free towing offer, Celestial has a two-year contract with Nevada County to tow abandoned vehicles; the county is paying $80,000 for the service. Money for the abatement come from California Department of Motor Vehicles registration fees.

There are approximately 40 properties in town with more than five junk cars. “People get very attached to their stuff,” Evans said.

The county will offer junk slips for a nominal fee to people who don’t have one from DMV. Owners will be required to write a statement of facts.

Celestial Valley Towing is located at 1050 Whispering Pines Lane in Grass Valley, and can be reached at 272-3353.

Kilroy’s Towing Service and Auto Dismanting is located at 12077 Highway 49 just south of Grass Valley; they can be reached at 273-3495,

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail or call 477-4231.

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