SOUTHINGTON — Owners of a car and dog wash planned for the corner of Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike and Meriden Avenue are close to breaking ground.
Owners of Class Act Auto Wash and Premier Pet Wash in Meriden said the pet wash has been a major part of their brand. While not originally planned for Southington, it’s proven popular and plans were changed recently to add it.
Town planners approved the car wash in early 2021. No building has taken place yet, although existing buildings have been demolished and some site work completed.Car wash owners
Michael Riccio, Michael Fasulo and David Carabetta own three parcels at the corner near the exit off Interstate 691. They proposing a 24/7 self service car wash similar to one operated by Carabetta in Meriden, Class Act Auto Wash.
Colin Carabetta, David Carabetta’s son, is the manager of Class Act in Meriden and will also manage the Southington location once built.
The idea of a self-service pet wash in a car wash started when the family’s dog, Moxie, got sprayed by a skunk late one night after the car wash was closed. That convinced them about the usefulness of a dog wash that’s open all night.
Colin Carabetta said the Meriden location has two pet washing stations with waist-high tubs. With the push of a button, pet owners can switch the shower handle from oatmeal shampoo to tick and flea treatment to skunk odor remover.
“Everything's operated by button,” Colin Carabetta said. “We also have a vacuum and blow dryer.”
It’s been a popular feature with car wash customers.
“We have some steady customers that just do the pet wash. We have good amount of overlap customer who wash their cars first and while their car is drying in the sunshine they’ll wash their dog,” he said. “We’ll have some customers come in and the wife will wash the dog while the husband washes the car.”Neighbor watchingthe progress
Doris Fillion, whose Meriden Avenue property is bordered on two sides by the planned car wash, said she’s been in contact with Colin Carabetta about the project.
She said he’s been willing to make modifications such as adding a six foot high privacy fence to block light and help mitigate noise.
Fillion, who rents out her house on Meriden Avenue, opposed the car wash and was concerned about traffic on the busy corner along with noise from the car wash vacuums.
“Right next to my driveway is where they have the exit to go left and right. You can get killed trying to take a left out of my driveway,” she said.
Other than site work and demolition, Fillion said it’s been a slow process.
“It’s been real pokey,” she said. “My tenants just want it done.”
Fillion said owners are probably also frustrated with how long it’s taken.Town permits
Jeffrey Pooler, the town’s chief building official, said owners have a permit to establish temporary power on the property.
“Usually when they have the temporary service permit, things are about to break” and progress, Pooler said.
Colin Carabetta plans to have the facility open by the new year.