Winter’s hanging around: Not everyone is grumbling about the recent weather

Published 3:47 pm Sunday, March 17, 2013

Terry Plath calls this winter “miles ahead of last year” in terms of snowfall. And to him, that’s a good thing.

“At this time last year, we had the Chap Stick and sunscreen out,” said the owner of Austin’s All Seasons Outdoor Maintenance, which performs snow removal for roughly 100 different residential and commercial properties. “It’s been a big change since last year.”

He’s right, as the National Weather Service has recorded 9.4 inches of snow in Austin already this month compared to 0.1 inches in March 2012, and 21.3 inches since January this year compared to 12.6 through that time in 2012.

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The owner of Austin’s M & M Enterprises, which performs snow removal for commercial properties, also welcomes the change.

“We’ve been pretty busy. Especially compared to last year,” Mike Murphy said. “It was a struggle last year.”

Plath, who has been in the business for 31 years, said this season is definitely above average. He has kept 12 employees and three subcontractors busy, with some, including himself, working 12- to 17-hour days when the storms hit. That wasn’t the case last year.

He said in 2012, they were cleaning up and getting ready for the spring, when they do lawn maintenance work, among many other services.

But for a business that sells snowmobiles, the snow this March was too little too late, especially with the rain mixed in.

“They’re thinking spring now,” said Jeff Trimble of Trimble’s Cycle Center. “We could have used this a month ago and it would have done wonders.”

While he said December was a good month, and the season as a whole was better than last year’s, it was still below average.

“Compared to last year, it’s been a lot better, but it sure wasn’t good,” he said.

One thing different this year, though, was the substantial snow north of the region. Trimble said some people from the area travel north to ride.

Now, he’s ready for the snow to melt so Trimble’s can focus on its biggest seller: motorcycles.

“Now we want the snow to go away,” he said.