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Metro says impound auctions clearing tow lot backlog

More auctions will be held if the city opens a temporary auction lot in Shively.
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:56 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This week only, it costs nothing to get a car out of Louisville’s overcrowded impound lot.

Two months ago, 3,000 cars filled the lot in Butchertown. That’s now down to 1,300.

Thirty people so far have gotten cars out of the impound lot during this week’s amnesty program, but LMPD said auctions and scrapping have helped it remove more than 1,000 cars over the last few months.

Metro government wants to open a temporary auction lot in Shively to help store and move more cars, but the lot has drawn opposition.

“After seeing it in person, I think I need to take away dad’s debit card,” said Daniel Gomez.

He bought two cars from the most recent impound lot auction. He said it was pretty simple.

“For guys like me, it’s simple enough, for people who want to buy cars to rebuild,” Gomez said.

If approved, LMPD would immediately tow cars to the temporary auction lot in Shively to get abandoned cars off the streets.

“We tow about 100 cars a week, so in the first week or so we could exhaust that list,” LMPD Maj. Emily McKinley said.

LMPD credits auctions with helping empty out the overcrowded impound lot in Butchertown. They believe the temporary lot could be closed and decommissioned after a year once the backlog of cars on Louisville’s streets are also cleared.

Metro Council member Keisha Dorsey has big doubts.

“Should be, or optimistic about it, is not a definite of what we are needing when we define something as temporary,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey raised several questions about the temporary lot during a hearing Wednesday.

According to the city, it would surround the lot with screened fencing and trees.

LMPD said in-person auctions at the lot would also help it move cars out quickly.

Metro has already awarded an auction contract to the company currently running its online impound auctions.

“You do get vehicles out quicker when you do in-person auctions,” McKinley said.

Residents in the neighborhood feel dumped on though, even as the city tries to clear out cars dumped on the city’s streets.

The temporary lot won’t have an office built.

The plan is once the city is done with the lot, it will clear out the gravel it puts down and decommission the site.

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