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Businesses make tough decisions in winter storm

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Business owners and managers in Franklin spent most of Sunday watching as snow mounted and temperatures dropped, trying to decide whether they could afford to close Monday.

Large companies, including KYB Americas, and smaller businesses, such as The Willard in Franklin, wanted to make sure that employees weren’t driving through dark snowstorms on their way to work.

Grocery stores and pharmacies, even ones owned by the same company, had different hours. And some stores opened for a limited part of the day.

At KYB, staying closed for too long makes it difficult for the company to make deliveries to clients across the country.

“We cannot shut down,” vice president of operations Sal Milioto said.

The Greenwood Park Mall, along with other malls across central Indiana, was closed for the day.

Greenwood shoppers who needed groceries had to take their chances at different stores.

The Kroger store in the 2200 block of Independence Drive stayed open despite the storm, while the Kroger in the 3100 block of Meridian Park Drive closed for about nine hours and opened at 7 a.m. Monday, store officials said.


The following schools are closed today:

  • Center Grove
  • Clark-Pleasant
  • Edinburgh
  • Franklin
  • Greenwood
  • Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson

The following sporting events set for today are postponed. Make-up dates have not been set.

  • Whiteland at Center Grove girls varsity basketball game
  • Center Grove varsity wrestling meet at Ben Davis
  • Edinburgh boys varsity basketball game against visiting North Decatur


  • Franklin College classes canceled. Offices plan to open at 1 p.m.

And for residents who needed to get prescriptions filled, pharmacy hours varied. In Greenwood, the Walgreens pharmacy at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Smith Valley Road remained open during normal hours.

In Franklin, Henderson Pharmacy & Home limited their hours, opening from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., instead of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. as usual, store officials said.

One of the biggest concerns was the safety of employees.

KYB canceled the third shift for workers Sunday night and delayed the start of Monday morning’s operations by two hours, so that employees weren’t driving on frozen streets in the dark, Milioto said.

KYB usually works ahead and has about two-and-a-half days worth of products already produced, which is why the company could afford to shut down Sunday night.

But staying closed any longer would create problems shipping products to clients across the country, Milioto said.

Still, not all of KYB’s day shift employees made it to work. About 150 of the roughly 250 employees called to say they couldn’t make it in, Milioto said.

Bob Schofield, owner of The Willard, didn’t want any of his employees trying to travel to work in Sunday’s snowstorm. That’s why he kept the Franklin restaurant closed on Sunday, except for about five regulars who came by to watch football.

“Employees were the main factor we were concerned about,” he said.

Schofield lives within walking distance of The Willard, and walking the few blocks between his house and the restaurant was miserable, he said. He knew travel conditions would be even worse for anyone trying to get to downtown Franklin in a car, he said.

“You don’t want to put anybody at risk. Because it’s really bad out there,” he said.

Schofield worked to clear the sidewalks Sunday, but plowing crews that were clearing the streets covered the sidewalks back up, meaning he had to clear them again Monday.

“The snow has to go somewhere. The streets are more important than the sidewalk,” he said.

Schofield was hopeful he’d be able to open today, but that will depend on the weather.

He’s not worried about the impact on business, partly because he expects a crowd to turn up during this weekend’s Colts game.

“It’s part of business. There are things you can control and things you can’t,” he said.

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