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Wed., Oct. 7
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Planning board tables car/pet wash


OGDENSBURG — It’s back to the drawing board for a proposed combined car and pet wash in Ogdensburg.

The city planning and development board tabled the proposed business following concerns ranging from too much traffic to the potential for cruelty to animals.

Robert A. McGrath, of Ogdensburg, wants to open in the fall P&T Car and Pet Wash at 619 Canton St., the former Cameron’s Fabricare Center. Mr. McGrath’s partners in the venture are his wife, Sue M., and from Syracuse, his brother, Jerry E., and sister-in-law, Jane E. McGrath.

The car wash would occupy the side of the building that was a coin-operated laundry. It would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will be fully automatic and require no personnel. Vehicles will enter at the rear and exit in the covered front end where there would be a vacuum machine to dry, wipe and clean interiors.

The pet wash would occupy the side of the building where Fabricare’s dry cleaning operations were. There would be vending machines with soap and shampoo as well as wall dryers. It also would require no personnel and be open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The absence of staffing proved to be a point of contention. Karen L. Cunningham, president of the St. Lawrence Valley Society for Cruelty to Animals, worried that dogs infected with rabies or ticks might be brought to the wash by their unwitting owners.

She also voiced concern that people would bring stray animals to the wash in the middle of the night and abuse them with the equipment and cleaning materials.

“I think there should be more supervision,” Ms. Cunningham said. “There are some really strange people in the world these days.”

Susan V. Sellers lives directly across the street at 616 Canton St. She opposes both enterprises, but especially the car wash for traffic congestion, headlights glaring into her childrens’ bedrooms and noise.

“I’m not looking forward to hearing a vacuum cleaner 24 hours a day,” she said.

Mr. McGrath was absent from the meeting.

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