Firxed Location Car Wash OwnersCar Wash owners may help schools
Group will chip in if city hinders mobile washes
By Ian Gertzen

NEWBURY PARK - Local car wash owners will donate $10,000 to the Newbury Park High School band in place of a planned car wash fund-raiser if the City Council decides Tuesday that a mobile car wash business is not properly disposing of used wash water.

Car wash owners Jack Galley, Ed Drogmund, Nader Moradian and Mick Gerlach agreed to provide funds equal to what 80 band students expected to raise in the seventh annual event Sept. 28 at the Newbury Park Mobil gas station at Borchard Road and Michael Drive.

On Thursday, they also offered their facilities to band officials for future fund-raiser.  Financial arrangements have yet to be worked out.

"We would feel bad that the kids couldn't hold the fund-raiser, so we said that we as fixed (or stationary) car wash operators would donate $10,000," said Galley, who owns two stationary car washes in the city.

Lance Winslow, owner of The Car Wash Guys, a mobile car wash business that planned to donate its time and equipment to the fund-raiser, said there is no evidence that his business contaminate the environment.  His firm has come under fire from both the city and stationary wash owner.

The business uses no chemicals and there is little runoff from cars, which are doused by a fine water spray and wiped clean, Winslow said.

"I don't want my kids and parents in the middle of a car wash war," high school band director Al Zeller said.  But he also thanked the car wash owners for their donation pledge.

The event is the year's major fund-raiser for the band and tall flags team, brining in $11,000 last year.  This year's budget is estimated at $40,000 for instruments, sheet music, coaches transportation and entry fees at competitions and parades.  The band boosters club also raises funds from bingo games and candy sales.

On Tuesday, the City Council will consider prohibiting mobile and fixed car washes from operating in the city if they "do not collect and properly dispose of contaminated effluent resulting from this process," a report states.

The stationary wash owners said they comply with wastewater laws and other regulations.

In January, the council banned mass car washings, including charity events, by The Car Wash Guys.

But the council agreed to review the issue if the firm got a wastewater discharge permit of a letter of exemption from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Winslow said Friday that the prospective donation "is a major victory for the kids."

"The most important thing for the kids is the money," Winslow said.  "Not only is it a good strategic move...but it is a good move for the kids.  I am so glad that the kids came out the winner in this one."

Reprinted from News Chronicle, September 21,1991.

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