GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Some southeast Grand Rapids residents are not happy that their vehicles got towed to a city impound lot Thursday, after they parked on roads near the Rich DeVos funeral.
Among the dignitaries attending the funeral at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 107 La Grave Avenue, was former President George W. Bush. And the city’s Acting Managing Director of Communications, Amy Snow-Buckner, says that’s why parking was restricted in the area.
“The city never wants to have to tow cars,” says Snow-Buckner. “But we were asked by the Secret Service to prohibit parking within the vicinity of the church, because we had a former President at the funeral – as well as three governors and other high-profile dignitaries. So, Wednesday morning our Parking Services team put up no-parking signs every 10 feet in that area. And then, the city issued a press release letting folks know there would be no parking. And that cars would be towed, starting at 4 a.m. today (Thursday).”
Megan Elaine’s vehicle was impounded. She lives in a Dwelling Place apartment, and tells FOX 17: “I parked my car over here on Sheldon (Avenue), because I live on Division (Avenue) and I can’t park overnight at meters. So when I came out to go to my doctor’s appointment, my car was gone and this whole area was, like, blocked off with police caution tape.”
Snow-Buckner tells FOX 17 the no parking signs were up more than 24 hours before the funeral. “And, in total, unfortunately we had to tow about 20 cars, between early this morning and ahead of the funeral.”
The vehicles were taken to the city’s Vehicle Storage Facility.
Snow-Buckner says there is a 24-hour grace period for those who had not picked up their vehicles within that time frame. “The 24-hour grace period is something our police department has decided to offer in this instance.”
Otherwise, the city says the towing fee is $170, plus $30 for storage.
“It was nice of them to waive the fee,” says Elaine, “but I feel that also puts them in admitting they were wrong for taking people’s cars.”