Massive snow pile affects local businesses - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Massive snow pile affects local businesses

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Snow proves to be a hassle, time and time again and there's no business like snow business... 

While the city of Billings is doing is its best to remove the snow from roads and parking garages, one business owner says the city's snow pile is affecting her business.

The co-owner of Mel's Lunchbox says the city's snow pile is growing each day.

Businesses who share this parking lot tell me they are worried this snow pile will encompass their parking lot, hindering their customers from coming in.

While lunch time is usually a busy time for most restaurants, Mel's Lunchbox Friday afternoon was mostly empty.

Owner Tammy Fletcher blames the loss in business to this... you could say there's "snow where to park."

"This snow goes back, I would say probably to a 100 to 150 feet," said Fletcher.

While the city owns part of the parking lot, Fletcher says the massive snow pile is a safety concern that is discouraging her customers from coming in.

"A handicap van that was equipped for a wheelchair would not be able to safely pull in here and use this space correctly in order to get themselves out of the vehicle in a safe manner and use the ramp correctly," adds Fletcher.

After several phone calls to the city, Fletcher is hopeful they will be able to remove some of the snow.

Parking manager Tracy Scott says she is aware of the issue and in negotiations with their subcontractors to address the problem.

A few options include looking at the costs, where to put the snow and talking to business owners.

Meanwhile, Fletcher says she's taking action on her own, she spoke with a representative from Montana Rail Link.

Montana Rail Company leases the property from Burlington Northern in an adjacent lot from Mel's Lunchbox.

"Really with a few phone calls, it could've been taken care of and this wouldn't be a problem because we have lot almost $2,000 just this week in customers not being able to park," said Fletcher. "They look at it, they think no and they move on."

With approval from Montana Rail Link, Fletcher said she is hopeful the city will move the snow to the open lot adjacent to their business.

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