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It's a Wash: Manager Says Village Wouldn't Break Even with its Car Wash Facility

The council is considering adding a car wash but it may not be better than the cost of contracting the service.

The village may be building a cooperative car washing business down the road, but only if the numbers work in its favor, officials said at Wednesday night's council meeting. And not all are convinced it does.

Deputy Mayor Tom Riche pitched the idea of nixing the $3,500 annual payment the village makes to a firm in Lodi to wash the town's fleet of service vehicles. While the $3,500 (part of a $71,000 budget reserve transfer) covers general maintenance and a complete cleaning inside and out, the deputy mayor said the village might be able to build its own facility, clean its own vehicles and align with neighboring towns for a shared service agreement.

Maybe, he suggested, the village could turn a profit in tough financial times.

But Village Manager Ken Gabbert said he didn't think so. The facility could cost $120,000, Gabbert reported, adding that the DEP would require the village to filter any water being run off into the sewage system. Gabbert said overall, he didn't believe there would be any return on investment for building such a facility under such constraints in addition to labor costs.

Riche also suggested–as resident Boyd Loving did–that the village might be able to save money by taking smaller vehicles to a facility in the area if it could partner with other towns for a bulk discount. But Killion, a former police officer, wasn't sold on that idea as insides of cars can get quite filthy and require thorough cleaning, he said.

Gabbert will be reviewing the particulars of the proposal and reporting back to the council, per Killion's request.

Dominick Nizza February 04, 2011 at 06:10 PM
The car washing business can be a little more than we could handle, but interesting. Firemen do a good job down at the Graydon Parking Lot on their own equipment. But, during this cold weather they haven't been there lately.
concerned resident February 04, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Stop..we are not a business looking for growth areas...we are a village looking to run efficiently and effectively. Get out of trash pick up and forget spending $120+thousand to save $3500/yr. on a car wash. Use those in their proper businesses to optimize services don't add more cost to the citizens by government run activities. Aren't we looking to control costs? or, even better reduce them. Thanks for some sane views at the management level of the village!

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