Customers are complaining about lousy service at the Dallas City Auto Pound as spending cuts force the lot to reduce operating hours.
Some people claim the Dallas Auto Pound turns away customers who’ve been waiting for hours at closing time, forcing them to return the next day and pay an extra day of storage fees.
“We will deal with it,” said Dwaine Caraway, chairman of a city council committee that oversees the auto pound. “We need to figure out a way to speed that up.”
Currently the auto pound is open from 6 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. The proposed city budget would reduce service by 6 hours to 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Even with the current longer hours, Robert Medrano said he has visited the place on Vilbig Road near Fort Worth Avenue several times and found unhappy customers.
“No one informs the public that, at 10:30, if you’re not by the window, you won’t be served,” Medrano said. “Obviously people don’t know and by the time they get to the window it starts chaos.”
Audra Ogden was there Tuesday after she said she waited several hours Monday, only to be told when she reached the counter that she needed different papers to recover her impounded car.
“This is the most unbelievable business I’ve ever seen,” Ogden said as she waited again. “I can’t believe this is even called a business. They are accepting people’s money, wasting people’s time.”
As citizens were griping about poor service at the auto pound, the Dallas City Council debated changes in their own office budgets Wednesday.
Among the proposals was eliminating home delivery of agenda material to council members and online access to most documents in favor of paper copies.
“It doesn’t work for me because that’s not the way I do my work,” said Councilmember Vonciel Hill about online documents. “I like the printed word.”
The council did restore cuts to some services including parks, libraries and the police first offender program by adding new fees and reducing some spending elsewhere.
The majority agreed to reductions in their own paper material, but delayed some other cuts in council office budgets for more last minute discussion. Next Wednesday is the last chance to vote on the new city budget. The plan still includes hundreds of city employee lay offs.
“When people are loosing their jobs, you have to look under every rock,” Caraway said.
The city was facing a $190 million dollar budget shortfall this year and city leaders demanded cuts to avoid a property tax rate increase. The budget takes effect October 1.