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Landscape Services details annual snow removal effort

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first_imgDespite South Bend’s reputation for frigid winters and heavy snowfalls, members of the Notre Dame community need rarely worry about snow or ice on walkways and parking lots during even the coldest months of the year. Each year, Landscape Services partners with the Athletic Grounds Team for the enormous undertaking of Notre Dame’s snow removal operation, which Tim Dyczko, assistant superintendent of landscape services, described in an email as “the best in the business.”“We use a combination of 1/2 ton trucks all the way up to two 1/2 ton dump trucks to clear 21 lane miles of roads and 93 acres of parking lots,” Dyczko said in the email. “Our walks total over 41 miles across campus, which are cleared using large mechanical brooms as well as snow blades when the snow becomes too deep for broom operation. We also take care of [over] 40 sets of stairs/steps as well as cut throughs from the parking lots and all the bus stops across campus.”A “lane mile” is a technical term meaning one mile long by 12 feet wide.Landscape Services prepares for the first snowfall months in advance, Dyczko said. When a snowstorm or heavy snowfall is anticipated, they will lay down liquid anti-icer in advance to prevent snow from sticking to walkways. In addition to physical removal of snow, granular salt is applied to sidewalks to melt accumulated snow and ice.“We have had other institutions inquire about how we are able to keep our walks in such good condition during the winter with little to no damage to the grass come springtime,” he said. “The machines we use for the walks are custom-built to remove snow and place granular product and anti-icing liquid all in one pass. It is a complex yet very well-organized operation of highly skilled operators who know their areas of responsibility extremely well every time it snows.”Dyczko said the crews maintain 22 hours of coverage every day from Dec. 1 to April 1.“When we are faced with a snow event, our crews come in at 2 a.m. with the goal of having campus clear and safe for our campus community by 7 a.m. unless conditions dictate otherwise,” he said. “Often times during big snow events, our crews will work 12-hour shifts for several days until the event is over.”Dyczko said that removing snow and ice is crucial for University function during the winter months.“It is a safety issue most of all,” he said. “If it is not safe to drive and walk on campus, then the entire operation of the University is at risk.”Dyczko praised the Landscape Services employees for their hard work year-round ensuring that the campus remains clean and safe.“The staff that is charged with snow removal is the same team that does such a great job in maintaining the campus in spring, summer and fall,” he said. “They are highly dedicated employees who work very hard to ensure that campus operations, including classes and research, are not interrupted by even the worst of winter weather.”Tags: Anti-icing, Athletic Grounds Team, De-icing, Landscape Services, Snow Removallast_img read more

West Rutland project wins $4.5 million energy grant

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first_imgNeighborWorks of Western Vermont won a $4.5 million grant for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today.The Rutland County nonprofit housing lender was awarded the grant one of only 20 nationwide for its proposal to save energy and create jobs retrofitting homes and municipal buildings.The award comes through a nationwide energy efficiency block grant program created in legislation authored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) played critical roles securing the grant funded by the economic stimulus bill that Congress passed last year. This is exactly why I helped write the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, to help communities invest in energy efficiency in homes and businesses and public buildings, said Sanders, chairman of the Senate s green jobs subcommittee. Today s announcement of nearly $4.5 million for Rutland County will help make thousands of homes and buildings more energy efficient, reduce energy bills, save money, cut greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs. This project with multiple benefits is exactly the kind of project we had in mind for the economic recovery plan. This collaborative, community-based effort puts people back to work while advancing a new green economy, said Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee that led in writing the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has designed an innovative project that will have a real impact in energy conservation and clean energy generation. This grant is a recognition of NeighborWorks innovation, creativity and dedication to helping Rutland County families save energy and save money. This organization has worked hard to marshal the resources of the Rutland community, partnering with public and private entities to design a program that works for this region, said Welch, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. With this significant federal investment, NeighborWorks will be able to achieve its goal of creating quality jobs and saving families money.The grant was awarded by U.S. Department of Energy under the block grant program Sanders created in the 2007 energy bill. The initial $3.2 billion in funding for the nationwide program was appropriated in the economic stimulus bill. It set aside $454 million for the competitive grants. Working with our partners we will be able to retrofit 40 percent of the homes in Rutland County for energy savings, create an estimated 352 jobs, and show the entire country what a single county in Vermont can do with resources and the determination to get it done, said Ludy Biddle, executive director of NeighborWorks.Over the three-year grant period, the West Rutland nonprofit plans to serve up to 40 percent of eligible households in the county 7,300 customers altogether with home visits on ways to lower energy costs. It will conduct at least 2,000 comprehensive energy audits and help 1,000 residents complete substantial retrofits. The total energy savings projected to be achieved over the first six years alone will total about $8.7 million.Key partners in the project include Central Vermont Public Service, Efficiency Vermont, five local banks, Green Mountain College, the Rutland Regional Planning Commission, local retailers, local governments, and community volunteers.Previous grants totaling almost $12 million were distributed to Vermont counties through regional planning commissions, to schools throughout the state, and directly to Vermont s 10 largest municipalities.Source: Vermont congressional delegation. WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010last_img read more