By Zach Srnis
Living in Northeast Ohio brings snow, ice and frigid temperatures, making it difficult for commuters to travel. Lorain County Community College has a system in place to combat the winter weather.
“It is something that is watched overnight and we monitor certain alerts,” said Tim Gadomski, custodial grounds group leader at Lorain County Community College. “We typically start at 3:30 a.m. on the weekdays and 4:00 a.m. for a weekend call.”
Gadomski said that they plan for the days where it snows overnight and that the grounds crew knows that they will be working the plows the next day.
“We have 5 pick up trucks, 1 dump truck, and 2 side walk machines,” Gadomski explained. “Our crew consists of one man salting the sidewalks, two on the actual sidewalk machines, and then the rest of the crew are in the trucks.”
The crew receives additional help from the custodial service when the weather is really bad. In addition, there are four crew members who work second shift, which extremely helpful on bad weather days, Gadomski said. Members of the grounds crew have been at the college anywhere from two to twenty years.
“There is not a lot of turnover in this job,” said Gadomski. “The people that work here find that it is a pretty good job for them.”
“Everyone has their own assignment,” said Gadomski. “Everyone goes to the part of campus that they are assigned and gets to work. It makes it easy because nobody wastes time wondering what they would have to do that day.”
Gadomski is assigned to Burns Rd., which can be knocked out relatively quickly. This allows him to help out workers that are working high-traffic areas such as Bass Library.
“I look at the Weather Channel app to see what the forecast is,” said Gadomski. “It is mostly speculation, however, but we still are prepared for it.”
The roadways are cleared first and usually take five hours to plow with the trucks. The sidewalks, which require multiple passes, take about eight hours.
“We use bulk salt for the roadways,” said Gadomski. “We use a more expensive ice salt for the sidewalks. It does a better job at melting than what we use on the roads.”