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Now it takes weeks to get a car fixed?

July 24, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
Another sign of the times: every auto mechanic in town is so busy that it's nearly impossible to get an appointment to have a car looked at.

When I had trouble with my car last week, one auto mechanic told me August 18 was the earliest available date he had open. Another said he could maybe fit me in on July 30. I sang "Halleluiah" when another mechanic told me he could fit me in this week, but now that date has been pushed back several days.

"I'm swamped," said the mechanic. "We don't have any room in the lot. Your car is way up on the hill."

This, like jacked up rental prices (if you are fortunate enough to find housing at all, that is) and long lines in department stores, is yet another side effect of the oil boom. I strongly suspect that all of the mechanics who might once have been working at those dealerships have headed for the oil field. This is yet another problem that will need to be fixed if this community is going to be a viable place to live.

Luckily, I have two good legs and am now able to borrow a vehicle to drive for the time being, but not everyone is so lucky or knows someone with an extra car.

Many families have just one car. For a single person or a couple with a single family car, waiting for weeks or months for a car to be fixed is simply not a viable option. For a family with two cars, it's still an inconvenience to suddenly be forced to rely upon one car.

People need cars to get to work, to get to the doctor, to go grocery shopping, to drive a child to and from activities. People will not move to or want to live in a town where they cannot get their vehicles repaired in a timely manner. So add auto mechanics to the long list of services that Minot will need to add more of to maintain a tolerable standard of living.


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