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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Clearing driveways, sidewalks a seasonal chore

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow removal has been a booming business around the county as an estimated 11 inches have blanketed the area during the last two days.

People wanting their driveways, sidewalks or parking lots cleared should be aware of the standard prices for the service, and not fall victim to price gouging, authorities warn.

Many private citizens do snow removal to earn extra cash. That's the case for Greencastle resident Tim Duggan, who said he charges $15 to $20 to clear a driveway.

"I'm just trying to make an extra buck or two and not hurt anybody," Duggan said. He has been plowing snow since 1997, and has several regular customers.

Last week's powdery snowfall was easy for snow removal, Duggan said, but the combination of snow and ice that fell Monday and Tuesday is harder on vehicles.

He said that some private plowers may be charging a higher rate this year due to the higher gas prices.

Several lawncare businesses and other contractors also provide snow removal services, but there is likely to be a waiting list.

Jill Spiker at Spiker Excavating agreed that normal snow removal for a driveway runs at $10-$25, depending on the size of the driveway and the difficulty level. Adding salt to a driveway is an extra cost, she said, but sidewalk shoveling is usually included in the cost of clearing a driveway.

Spiker said the rates for clearing a parking lot depend on the time the job takes, as well as the traffic that the lot has.

Do-it-yourself snow shovelers should be careful about over-exertion, and with low temperatures outside, should take plenty of breaks and drink fluids to avoid health problems from outdoor activities.

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