City Considers Moratorium on Bail Bond Companies

With the expansion of a county jail in the downtown area of Indio, there is a newfound interest from bail bond companies to find locations where they can settle near to the jail.

City leaders are worried that the potential for this type of development is not in line with the economic plan that they intended to follow for the downtown area. The current plan is for restaurants and entertainment venues as well as other commercial businesses. Because of this, the city leaders are looking to establish a ban against permits or licenses for bail bond businesses at this time.

“Existing bail bond businesses would be allowed to remain. Any expansions or relocations would be prohibited if the moratorium is approved,” said Development Services Director, Joe Lim.

The potential moratorium will most likely be reviewed at the next city council meeting on October 7th. If approved, the moratorium will be in effect for 45 days.

The economic development of the downtown area has long been a priority for the city, but employees of the bail bonds companies do not feel that the ban is fair.

“Any ban on a business we feel is not fair, especially if they’re providing a service. I know bail bonds have a bad rep, but in reality, we’re not like ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’”, said Pablo Fonseca, the director of corporate development at Bail Hotline Bail Bonds.

The council admits they do not want to push out the businesses completely because they recognize the valuable services they provide. They also acknowledge that with the capacity of the jail increasing, there will be the potential for more bonds being issued.

Posted on September 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM