Snow Day Doesn’t Mean “No Work” For Everyone

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Central Ohio was hit for the third time in two weeks with winter weather. As snow fell all day yesterday and into the night, plow crews hit the roads. WOSU reports the snow removal business, at least for one landscaping company, has proved profitable this season.

A plow blade on the front of a Chevy Tahoe scrapes along the parking lot of a U.S. Army Reserve Center on Taylor Station Road on the city’s east side.

The SUV backs up and plows the lot again, clearing the remaining snow.

“As soon as he finishes pushing the snow we are going to put a few bags of salt down and melt off the residual ice there a little bit,” Fred Burchett said.

Burchett works for Greiner Landscaping which has had about 15 plows working a four-county area. Packs of Marlboro’s and a jar of coffee litter Burchett’s truck. He’s been up for about 24 hours since the snow started Monday.

“Snow business is booming,” he said laughing.

And boom it has the National Weather Service says February is the second snowiest in Columbus with 25 inches of snowfall. We’ve had almost 10 inches this week. The company’s owner, Mark Greiner, was headed to the Lancaster area when WOSU spoke with him. Greiner said his business, in his words, has been “absolutely slammed.”

“It’s very, very rare that you have three major storms in an eleven day period. It’s extremely unusual,” he said.

Greiner’s customers are commercial properties like retailers, doctor’s offices and factories. Some customers have a contract for the winter, but the majority, he said, pay per service. Greiner said the company may be losing some money on its flat-rate customers, but the per-plow jobs are making up for it.

“On the rest of our customers we do quite well. And actually the worst of the winter becomes disproportionally good for us because we’ve covered our overhead say on the first six or seven plowings. So the other ones after that actually become more lucrative than the earlier ones would’ve been. You know, we become a little bit more quicker, we’re a little bit more efficient and we don’t have to worry as much about the overhead quite as much either,” he said.

While there are plenty of men and women out working on the roads, others had the day off. Amanda Taylor, from Grandview, took her children to the sledding hill at Wyman Woods Park on Goodale Boulevard. Unlike some other parents around the area whose children have been out of school several days, Taylor hasn’t pulled out her hair just yet.

“Grandview does not have very many snow days. So this is her first one this year. So the kids are very excited to come to the snow hill. You know, because they’re always worried that other kids get to come to their snow hill while they’re in school. So this is pretty exciting for them,” she said.

10-year-old Gabriella Blea, of Grandview, walks up to the park. She’s sporting a bright pink snow suit and toboggan. In her grasp: a shiny, silver sled.

“I’m really excited to sled. My family’s here so I’m gonna try to play with them,” the girl said.

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