© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Matt Compton drives off, ready to move onto the next driveway or parking lot on his list.
It’s going to cost at least some residents in the Charlottetown area more to have snow removed from their driveway this winter.
Based on the amount of snow that has fallen in the past two winters, some businesses that operate residential snow removal service say they have to charge more.
Rodney Chappell with Riley’s Snow Removal Ltd. said their fees went up between 14 and 17 per cent this year.
Riley’s offers commercial and residential service.
“We like to have slow, steady increases. This year was our largest jump in history. The year before we only went up two to five per cent. This year we had to go a step higher,’’ Chappell said.
“We had the gear but when you get an overwhelming amount of snow it’s that much harder for the guys.’’
Paul Warren with Warren’s Snow Removal in Cornwall said he put his fees up 15 per cent, and demand for service this winter is up 10 per cent.
“There is more interest this year,’’ Warren said. “Everybody’s been talking about the price of service going up but it doesn’t seem to be scaring people away. I think after the last couple of (winters) people are starting to realize what a fellow has been up against.’’
An employee with another city-area snow removal service, who didn’t want to be identified because she isn’t authorized to speak for the business, said their flat rate is up about $30.
“You need to make money,’’ the employee said. “If (they) can’t make money out of this it’s not reasonable to be in the business. We keep our prices as low as we can. Can’t go any lower.’’
Chappell said snow removal service is like an insurance policy.
Those who pay by the visit feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
For those who pay one fee for the season it comes down to how much snow falls.
Chappell said one of the biggest complaints he gets every year is not being able to be everywhere.
“It is challenging for people who want out of their apartment building at 5 in the morning and we don’t get there before 7. You can’t be everywhere at 5 in the morning.’’
Still, he said many customers go out of their way to show appreciation.
One of his drivers got a $100 gift card while another driver was given baked goods on some visits.
“He’s expected to wait there because she’s going to have something for him,’’ he laughed.