WF Car Wash Restrictions Stirs Up Controversy

The car wash controversy continues to stir debate in Wichita Falls.

"It's disappointing. It's sad that we're at this point and feels vindictive and that's a shame," said Jim Cadotte, General Manager of All American Car Wash.

He said it feels like they have been an easy target when it comes to the drought.

"It's all been how do we see or catch All American using more water," Cadotte said.

On Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014, city council members could reverse their decision to cut off car washes from the city water supply once the combined lake levels hit 20-percent, or by the end of January.  Cadotte said no business should be cut off of the water supply.

He believes city leaders who want the restrictions to stay in place are trying to sway the vote.  With back to back surprise visits from city inspectors, he is looking for answers.  He said it's out of the ordinary for inspectors to be there this often, especially when they are closed.  He said they usually come out about once a year, but on Monday they were there at least four times.

"I hope that I'm completely wrong about this, but the fact that we have inspectors here all throughout the day, especially when we're closed, signifies that maybe that there's more to that story than what we even know," Cadotte said.

Newschannel 6 made several attempts to talk to city councilors and city officials.  We left detailed messages, but everyone was in meetings.

"We had an opportunity going into this drought as a community to really become one of the most efficient communities in the country," Cadotte said, "We had an opportunity to set a tone to show that business, individuals and government work together and I think we've dropped the ball."

Cadotte feels the restrictions are unjust and won't help the drought.  He said we will still lose as much water as we lose to our evaporation to our lakes.  He also said people will continue to use around the same amount of water on a daily basis.

He explained commercial car washes use very little water.  He also said most car wash owners support the restrictions in place and that they will continue to work hard to be a leader in conservation.

If council members decide to move forward with cutting them off the water supply he said it's a step in the wrong direction.

"Do we want other businesses that are perhaps looking to this community to say "I'm not sure that that's a government that I want to work with," Cadotte said.

City Council member Tim Ingle is leading the effort to get the decision reversed.

Newschannel six will be in council chamber on Tuesday to find out how the issue unfolds.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6