MARILYN HAGERTY: Grand Forks has 8,500 driveways, 6,000 intersectionsThere is one thing about working with snow in Grand Forks, said Mark Aubol, superintendent of streets, this week. “You have job security.”
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
There is one thing about working with snow in Grand Forks, Mark Aubol, superintendent of streets, said this week.
“You have job security.”
Aubol works with a crew of 34 who have been clearing the streets then going back to knock the snow down on corners and driveways. He said, “We need to make more room. The berms are full of snow.” And he knows there will be more snow.
Where do you put it? Aubol said trucks have been hauling snow to a dumping area off 40th Avenue South and to a north-side snow dump at Mill Road and U.S. Highway 81.
Sometimes, crews are working around the clock. In Grand Forks, we have more than 500 miles of streets to clear, along with 8,500 driveways and 6,000 intersections. And sometimes, not enough plows to keep up.
People do what they have to do. Paul Helgeson and his No. 1 and only employee Zach Petrick dress to the hilt and give full service at Odin’s Belmont Service, 125 Belmont Road. It’s one of the few places, including Bob’s Oil on Gateway Drive, where you can drive up at 30 below and say, “Fill ’er up. And would you please check the oil?”
Paul and Zach do all this year-round. They will check the tires and repair the wiper blades. And there is no extra charge for full service.
When I last checked, Paul was wearing boots, two pairs of wool socks, Carhartt coveralls over a jacket and a hood. Zach had a hat and a coat over his sweatshirt. He was wearing sweatpants over jeans.
Lots of layers. That’s what gets the outdoor workers through January and February.
The weekend arrives with UND honoring Bob Boyd this afternoon in the Memorial Union ballroom as he switches gears from vice president to transition officer. … And North Dakota Ballet Company performs this evening, as well as Saturday and Sunday, in Empire Arts Center. … Celtic Crossroads is scheduled Saturday in the Alerus Center Ballroom. … And there’s a Junior Gold Hockey tournament this weekend. … Sioux fans will gather at noon today in the Alerus Center to focus on weekend basketball doubleheader games with Houston Baptist on Saturday, as well as the UND women’s hockey team hosting the crew from Mankato this weekend. … And there’s a Community Skate Sunday afternoon in The Ralph.
Q. Bob Boyd, who is being honored today at UND, is always smiling and agreeable. Is he always that way?
A. I checked with his wife, Dawn, and she said he really is upbeat most of the time. If he is down, it doesn’t last very long. He looks on the positive side of things. And he is a marshmallow as a doting grandfather of two.
Q. What can a person do if they begin falling into the winter doldrums?
A. Go out to the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau and pick up a copy of the new 2011 guide. I didn’t know how much fun we were having here until I saw the pictures of kids on sleds and kids in the playground at Canad Inn.
Cheerful people of the week: Shawn Clapp and Kenneth Dawes.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.