Canal Winchester has grown and changed a lot in the nearly 30 years that Ed Snyder has worked for the village, and he's learned the importance of adapting to those changes.

Canal Winchester has grown and changed a lot in the nearly 30 years that Ed Snyder has worked for the village, and he's learned the importance of adapting to those changes.

"You have to be progressive," he said. "You know things are just going to change. All you can do is manage it."

He retires as village street manager July 31.

Snyder started working with the village part-time in 1981 as a member of the board of public affairs, which no longer exists, overseeing ground water and sewer issues.

By 1990 he started full-time as a street worker. He worked his way up through the hierarchy and now has been street manager for nine years.

"It's really been a good place to work," he said. "It's been a good ride."

Over the years, Snyder said, he's seen Canal Winchester go through some "really big growth spurts."

"We used to drive through cornfields to get through it," he said. "I've seen it a small, small town and I've seen it evolve into what it is today."

In the 37 years he's lived in Canal Winchester, he said he never expected the village to spring up so far, so fast.

"I assumed there would be some growth, but never like it is now," he said. "I used to know everybody in town, but not so much anymore."

Snyder moved to the village from Webster Springs, W.Va., in 1972.

"It's not really close to anything," Snyder said of his hometown. "It's just a little wide spot in the road."

Growing up, Snyder said he dreamed of being a high school coach. He said he had no idea street work or street work management was in his future.

One of his first jobs took him from Webster Springs to Parkersburg, W.Va,. where he worked for a grocery store chain. The job took him from Parkersburg to Athens, Ohio, to Lancaster and then Columbus. He worked a construction job in Columbus and eventually found a job working with the village.

He discovered there was little he disliked about it.

"Sometimes you have bumps in the road and you iron things out, but there really isn't anything I don't like about it," Snyder said.

His favorite part of the job is plowing snow because it's work that produces immediate results.

And he gets to ride in a big truck.

"I always liked the snowplow," he said.

When he's not at work, Snyder said he loves to watch his two grandchildren compete in sports.

"I enjoy that more than anything," he said.

Snyder has a son who works as a physical education teacher at Canal Winchester Middle School and a daughter who works as a forensic chemist for the state of Kentucky.

He said when he retires he plans to travel with his wife of 44 years, Sara Snyder, to Virginia and West Virginia to visit relatives.

But he won't go too far, he said.

"I'm sort of a homebody," the 65-year-old said. "I like being at home. I'm getting old and tired."

He said he might get a part-time job after he "rests a little."

"Just to find something to keep me busy, so I don't vegetate in my La-Z-Boy," he said.

Other than that, he said he plans to keep things unchanged.

"Sara and I have a lot of good friends here," he said. "I'm very happy in Canal Winchester, and I'll be happy until the very end."