Car Washes Hurting with New Restrictions


DECATUR-The mandatory water restrictions mean more than dead lawns.  They mean dozens of jobs lost in the community.

At Red Carpet Car Wash water is their most important resource. But soon they won't be able to use a drop because of Decatur's mandatory water restrictions, nine full time employees losing their source of income.

"What are we going to do?  How are we going to pay our bills?" asked owner Tom Belleville.  "I have no answer for them.  My wife asked me. I have no answer for her either."

City Manager Ryan McCrady says shutting off water for commercial car washes is necessary to maintain our water supply.

"We hate the economic impact of it, but we don't really have any other alternatives," McCrady says.

But at Red Carpet, the employees have few alternatives of their own. 

"Most of the employees here, they don't have money saved up you know that they can weather this for very long," Belleville says 

Not long, though the restrictions could last a long time.

"I wish i could tell them this is not going to happen," he says.

The city manager says in order for the restrictions to be lifted, we'll need consistent rain every couple of days to get the lake levels to where they belong.  So it could be awhile before you'll see businesses like this one open in town.

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