Colonna ups investment in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Jeff Colonna and his father Rich are pictured outside Squigee’s Car Wash in Albion. Colonna opened the car wash in 1996. An upgraded site opened last week at 130 West Ave.

ALBION – The out-of-town chain stores seem to be proliferating along Route 31 and on South Main Street in Albion.

But not all of the investment in Albion is coming from the chains. Rich Colonna last week opened a revamped Squigee’s Car Wash at 130 West Ave. Colonna first opened the car wash in 1996.

“It was time to do a major renovation,” Colonna said. “Investments in these are huge.”

The upgraded site includes new waterlines, pump motors, pumps and a computerized system for measuring the chemicals. The system also sends Colonna and his son Jeff updates through their phones if there is low soap temperature, a printer jam for receipts or other issues that may need trouble-shooting.

The upgraded site also takes credit and debit cards. It utilizes laser sensors to size vehicles to use the right amount of chemicals for a car wash.

“This will save in electric, water and chemicals,” Colonna said Thursday at Squigee’s.

He operates the car wash behind Colonna’s Electric and Plumbing. He opened that business 25 years ago. His son runs J-Co Driveway Sealing from the 130 West Ave. location. Jeff Colonna, 31, opened that business eight years ago.

Jeff is working with his father on the car wash. All five bays were upgraded. In the spring, Squigee’s will debut a new doggy wash. That spot will be enclosed and heated. Customers can walk their dog up a ramp and pick shampoos, tick and flea removers and a de-skunker.

A customer uses one of the car wash bays on Thursday.

Right now the focus is on the revamped car wash. The Colonnas have noticed people are keeping vehicles longer, driving them well beyond 100,000 miles. The car wash can keep a shine on a vehicle and also knock off some of the road salt that can eat away at a car.

The new setup includes striped paint design on the car wash and a perimeter fence.

“The colors, you can’t miss them,” Jeff Colonna said.

Rich Colonna also has three Washboard Willy’s Laundromats, with one each in Albion, Brockport and Medina. In about two weeks, a second Washboard Willy’s will open in Medina on Maple Ridge Road by McDonalds.

Colonna also owns commercial buildings and apartments. His building at 130 West Ave. is base for all of the operations. Even with the new computer technology, Colonna said he wouldn’t be able to juggle the different enterprises without Lisa Lonnen, his secretary the past 20 years.

“She oversees all of the activities,” he said.