by Dave Yusz, Building and Grounds Superintendent
I’m a snow man.
Notice the space in that. I’m not a snowman (it would be pretty impressive that I’d be writing this blow right now)! I’m a snow man. When it snows, I’m the man who has to deal with it.
And while winters in Erie are terrible all the time, it’s especially bad to deal with until the lake gets frozen. When the winds kick up, the bay water washes up and tears up the sea walls. There’s been a few times where we have to block off the sidewalk down on the Bayfront because of ice and snow buildup.
The worst we’ve ever had it came last year at Christmastime. I’d ask if anyone remembers, but how could you forget? In addition to taking care of the Bayfront Convention Center area, we also take care of the Sheraton and Courtyard. Marvin, a crew leader here at the Bayfront Convention Center, and I came in on Christmas night to deal with the accumulation of snow.
We worked 17 hour days for 6 or 7 days straight.
It’s not that we don’t have the equipment. We have plows, a box blow, brushes, snowblowers, shovels…you name it, we’ve got it. But the other thing we’ve got is a whole bunch of property to take care of.
If it snows, say, six inches, it will take us five or six hours to have everything accessible for people. To have it spotless (or close, anyway), we’re looking at about 10 hours.
And, naturally, it snows at the most inconvenient times. If there’s an event, it’s three times worse, too. All you’re doing is trying to clear paths so that people can drive and get out. Unfortunately, that sometimes means a little snow ends up behind people’s cars, and yes, I notice the sign language they give me to show their appreciation for that snow!
I’ll end this blog with a little note about the geese, which I wrote about last time — and yes, they’re still there in the same spot by the Courtyard! They aren’t scared of our wolves!
The geese stay in the winter, and they like to go where we’ve paved. Often, we’ll be trying to pave a spot and there they are, standing in our way. We’ll rev the engine, honk the horn and do what we can to get them to move, but when they don’t — and they won’t — we go to another spot and come back later.
Even a snow man won’t mess with those geese.