Private snow plows seeing less work with mild winter

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind- By the end of February, most Hoosiers are sick of the snow. However, some are rooting for more to come.

“Oh yeah, totally. I am,” said Bill Labinowicz, Owner of Hamilton County Lawn Care.

For local snow removal companies, the lack of snow has been bad for business. So far this winter, snowfall in Indy had been about 8 inches below average, with just .3 inches falling in January.

“It has hurt our snow and salting business,” said Chris Thomas, owner of Thomas Lawn and Landscape Inc.

For Thomas, the warmer winter has helped him focus on their main landscaping business. They’re trying to get ahead, making the best of what Mother Nature is, or isn’t, dropping down.

“Honestly, I don’t want to jinx myself or anyone else but it’s been nice,” Thomas said of the slow winter. “A little calmer, revenue stream is a little low, lower than what we’d like, but it’s ok. We have a lot of services that we offer and we’re able to keep going and keep our guys and gals going in the winter.”

Every landscaping business is structured differently. Some charge a flat rate for the winter season, and others get paid per plow or salt. While there had been a lack of snow, the salt is constantly being dropped. January had nearly 3 more inches of rain this year compared to 2019, and to prevent icy roads, salt is needed.

Labinowicz says that alone has surprisingly caused his business to increase this winter compared to last. 

“Yes (but) it’d be up a lot more if there was more snow and it would stay on the ground,” Labinowicz said.

Depending on the weather, the snow plowing business is always up or down. You have to put a lot of money into it, and sometimes not a lot of money comes out.

“It’s an investment not a lot of people will want to make based on the snow we’ve had here,” Labinowicz said.

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