Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 23, 2014

What a Winter!

TRAVERSE CITY — Winter 2013-14. It’s at the tip of everyone’s tongue, and it’s left a tingling sensation on plenty of fingertips, too.

It’s been cold, colder, coldest for months, and there’s so much snow it might be July before it all melts.

Some people love it, others loathe it. But everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a winter story. Here are some from northwest Michigan residents:

 

Costly winter

Sandy Marutz relies on income generated by four of her 14 rental cabins on Arbutus Lake to help pay winter bills. But this year the particularly cold and snowy weather took a chunk out of her livelihood.

“Those places aren’t that well-insulated and the heat is included, so there’s no reason for people to dial down at night,” said Marutz, a Munson Medical Center nurse and a widow who runs Mac’s Landing Resort with her sister. “It’s been a long winter and the colder it is the more propane you use. It seems like every two weeks I get the propane tank filled. Between that and the plowing … We have seven acres. Last year my plowing bill was $450. This year I’m already up to $1,000.”

 

Business booms, parts scarce

Dupuie doesn’t have the parts.

A punishing cycle of heavy snowfall is straining snowblowers across the Grand Traverse region. About 25 broken-down snowblowers are sitting in Dupuie’s Kalkaska business, Dupuie’s Small Engine Repair, awaiting repairs.

“We are busier this year than last,” he said.

Dupuie said snowblower repairs center around auger and drive belts that sustained wear and tear under days upon days of blowing accumulating snowfall. But matching parts to repairs is also more difficult this year; Dupuie said suppliers have many necessary parts on back order, another fact he has no trouble attributing to the harsh winter.

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