weather

84°

Cloudy | 15MPH

NEWSROOM * CIRCULATION * ADVERTISING

CONTACT US MANAGE ACCOUNT SUBSCRIBE

Tuesday

July 2014

22

Low-snow season pinching Mukwonago businesses

It's hard to imagine, given last week's subzero temperatures (with more chilly temps predicted for later this week) that Wisconsin isn't breaking any cold-weather records. It is however, making it into weather news as last week saw one of only 18 instances since 1948 in which temperatures dipped to zero degrees or below with no snow.

In fact, snow, in general, has been scarce. According to the National Weather Service, after Milwaukee snapped its 288 snow-free day streak on Dec.18, it has seen only a little over 7 inches, putting it in a 14.5-inch deficit compared to the seasonal average. While Madison got hit more significantly with the December storm, it still is 1.2 inches below average.

This lack of snow is starting to hurt some local businesses that depend on snow-driven purchases.

At Mukwonago Yamaha, general manager Rick Silkworth said the lack of snow so far this season has damaged sales of snowmobiles.

"Sales are significantly down," Silkworth said. "The key is early snow, preferably by late November. At this point it's almost too late (to make up for sales.)"

Brian Szajna, general manager of Ace Hardware in Mukwonago, said the late start to winter also hit their sales hard because most winter purchases are made before Christmas. He has been seeing a significant decrease in sales of snowblowers and parts and other snow-driven necessities such as shovels. However, he said sales overall have remained strong because of Wisconsin's temperature swings.

"We've been selling more salt," Szajna said. "A few weeks ago when we got the thaw and rain and then it all froze we couldn't keep salt in stock, and we were plenty stocked. "

Szajna also said that usually after the first or second week of January, repairs come in, but so far this season no snowfall has been sizable enough to break anything.

"Usually we are replacing belts nonstop, but we have not even sold much at all," Szajna said.

Municipalities are seeing a difference in man hours and supplies this year.

Tom Brandemuehl, Village of Mukwonago public works supervisor, said the village has used about 180 tons of salt so far this year. The village has had trucks out on about six different occasions, which is far less than normal, especially in December. He said that while the budget just started over Jan. 1, so far the village is ahead by not needing any overtime.

"But it's weather; that could all change in a day," Brandemuehl was quick to point out.

Tom Johnson, Big Bend's superintendent of public works, isn't as worried about paying for overtime as he is worried about storage for unused salt.

"Anything we can't take at the end of the season we get charged per month to store," Johnson said.

Johnson said that the way things are going, the area would need to see about 15 more "good storms" to be at normal level for plowing and salting. He's already anticipating excess salt and is considering adjusting his numbers when the village orders next year's stock in April.

Until then, he's keeping everyone who isn't plowing or salting busy by thinking warm and getting a jump-start on spring activities.

"When you're not doing what you normally do, you need to look for new stuff. We're doing a lot of vehicle maintenance, building maintenance and painting picnic tables for the parks," Johnson said. "Something that'd be done in spring that we can move into our shop we're doing now."

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.


Living Lake Country

E-mail Newsletter

Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.
Tools
TEXT SIZE
Lake Country Construction Guide

 

Consruction season is underway in Lake Country and

we've got you covered when it comes to street closures and delays:

Mukwonago area projects

Sussex, Menomonee Falls area projects

Kettle Moraine area projects

Greater Lake Country area projects

 

Community Pride 2014

  

Celebrate Lake Country 

communities with stories

of community pride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rummage Router
Just click to find a rummage near you
Your Photos
Xinyue Sanchez - Sussex , WI
Community Blogs

Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.

Cook's Corner
By Cynthia Acosta Luksich
If you miss mashed potatoes, try this: Cauliflower Mash

Fair E-tales

Waukesha County Fair celebrities devour cream puffs in speed eating contest

It's Hemmer Time
By Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer
"It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy???"

Bernie Ziebart

The Engineering Perspective
By Bernie Ziebart
The immigration issue

GarberPark
By Mike Garber
32nd Topic - Lookin Back on the 4th

LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!

View All Blogs

Discussion Guidelines

Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog

Legal Notices
Back to top