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Slow Season

Lack of snowfall hurting plowers

March 7, 2010
By JOEL DiTATA, The Leader-Herald

Although lack of snow can make residents' lives easier, the companies that remove snow feel otherwise.

With the decreased amount of snow this season, snow-plowing companies have been left to deal with a decrease in business.

Larry McGillis, the owner of L.M. Mason Contractors in Gloversville, couples his contracting business with snow plowing during the winter. McGillis has four trucks available to plow snow and said the lack of snow has negatively affected his business for the winter. McGillis said the sand he bought for his trucks before winter began has yet to be used. He said "thousands" of dollars worth of sand is left.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Joel DiTata

Larry McGillis, owner of L.M. Mason Contractors, plows snow in a parking lot in Gloversville on Wednesday. Area snow plowers have said the lack of snowfall this winter is hurting business.

"Last year, there were times when I would sleep in the truck," McGillis said. "When we have those huge snow storms, I'm lucky to get four hours of sleep for two to three nights at a time."

McGillis has kept his own charts for more than 20 years graphing the amount of snowfall and the type of jobs his staff has done. McGillis said 19 storms last season dropped more than 3 inches each, while there have been only eight storms that dropped more than 3 inches each so far this season.

According to the National Weather Service in Albany, 45.2 inches of snow fell so far in the Capital Region this season compared to last season's 48.8 inches. However, before the Feb. 22 storm, there was only 28 inches compared to 48 inches at the same time last season. The average amount of snowfall at this time of year is between 45 and 48 inches.

The National Weather Service doesn't keep specific totals for Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Although there have been fewer storms, McGillis said his company has been able to keep busy. L.M. Contractors has customers fill out contracts before the winter begins. McGillis said this assures the company gets paid regardless of snowfall.

L.M. has contracts with businesses such as banks and gas stations from Gloversville to Amsterdam.

Jeff Krempa, owner of Krempa Custom Landscaping, also pairs his outdoor summer work with snow-plowing during the winter.

Krempa said business this winter is "absolutely down."

"The 2- and 3-inch storms are more a nuisance," Krempa said.

Krempa said he only plows residential homes and has an average list of 30. He is the only employee for his snow-plowing service and said the days he plows, he starts at 4 a.m. and works for 12 hours straight.

Joel DiTata can be reached at ruralnews@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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