Panama City Beach is starting discussions over scooter rental regulations and how much money is collected to cover potential damages.
At Thursday's City Council meeting, Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman addressed multiple complaints regarding the issue off "Cross Collateralization."
Breaking it down, cross collateralization is the ability to make use of collateral (or cash) generated by one project to cover the expenses of a different project.
In this case, if the security deposit of multiples scooters are paid with the same payment and one gets damaged, cross collateralization can allow for the deposits of all scooters to be pooled for damages.
Panama City Beach ordnance 22-104 states that a person cannot put down money and obligation for more than his or her own bike unless a waiver is signed allowing them to do so.
The Police Department said kids do not know what they are signing and are getting an expensive surprise when they return a damaged bike.
Chief Whitman said regulation and clarity is needed to ensure our visitors aren't getting price gouged.
But speaking to the Council, California Cycles Co-Owner, Colleen Swab, says bikes are costly to repair and, while they don't object to revision of the ordinance, more needs to be done to ensure they aren't the ones who are getting jipped
"They go out, they ride the bikes, someone's got a scratch, or 100 to 200 dollars worth of damage, they'll take that pooled security deposit, which can be anywhere from 300 to 1000 dollars and they take all that for that one bike," said Whitman.
"We have scooters that cost 2000 dollars. That's how much our scooters cost. They're not cheap and they're not cheap to fix, but you've got kids who go out and destroy our stuff, they make a complaint...they don't have to pay for it. Well, at least that's what they're being told and that's not fair to us," said Swab.
Ultimately, no changes were determined Thursday evening. City Attorney, Douglas Sale, said he will meet with California Cycles' attorney to continue discussion. Meanwhile, Chief Whitman added that he'd also like to see adjustments to safety regulations regarding scooters as well.