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William Klump, the owner of Brookfield Express Car Wash, 9545 Ogden Ave., thought he'd celebrate a bit on July 16 when the business reopened after a three-month renovation project.
He put out a "free today" sign, thinking over the weekend the business would get a few hundred cars through the new, improved automatic car wash facility. Word got around.
By closing time on Sunday, according to Klump, 3,000 cars rolled through the new facility - one that took two years to realize.
"We were quickly overwhelmed by the response," Klump said. "I did what any sane person would do, I called my sisters, Patti and Kathleen. They arrived with husbands, kids, even my mom in tow.
"Over the weekend as many as 30 family members arrived to pitch in and help re-introduce ourselves to the community."
Klump has owned the car wash since 1995. In 2008, he approached the village with a plan to expand and modernize the business, including building a new 80-foot-long automatic wash tunnel. The project, which Klump said cost about $1.5 million to complete, was finally approved by the village board in September 2009, but construction was not started until April 5.
- Bob Uphues