Harsh winter proves profitable for several local businesses



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GREENFIELD — Those making plenty of green on all the white are grateful for the boost in business, but just like anyone else they’re hoping for some good news from Punxsutawney Phil this Groundhog Day.

Business is booming for private snow removers, plumbers and local stores that sell winter gear. While the cold temperatures and regular snowfall has meant a steady stream of cash, it’s also been hard work for local employees who are just as ready for spring as everybody else.

It’s not like Zach Muegge of Greenfield’s Muegge Heating Plumbing and Electrical would turn the work away, but judging from the sound of his voice Thursday, he won’t mind winding down a bit from a frenzied flurry of jobs brought on by this year’s hard winter.

“We’ve been extremely busy,” the business owner said Thursday. “Let’s put it this way, when it was like it was a couple days ago and like it was a couple weeks ago, we could have worked 24 hours a day and still have to tell people ‘no.’”

The sub-zero temperatures that made freezing seem like a balmy island holiday have wreaked havoc throughout the county, freezing and bursting water lines, taking furnaces down and rendering water heaters useless.

“And when there’s no heat, it’s always an emergency,” Muegge said.

Bill Whitley, office manager for Bedell plumbing, said his crews only began to slow down Wednesday.

Bedell has been churning a workforce of about a dozen repairmen and technicians for the last two weeks on 12- and 13-hour shifts, Whitley said.

The weather has been both a blessing and a burden.

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