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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 883676  
Subject: Re: How dumb can they be in NC? Date: 2/15/2014 8:57 AM
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A friend owns a weekend house in PA. She has to pay for snow removal at the beginning of the season. Sort of an insurance policy. Whether they get little-to-no snow or 4 feet of snow, she pays the same amount. She has to lock in their services because they'll be busy doing others' driveways and streets otherwise.

Might this be how MA handles it, as well? They pay the contractors no matter how much or how little they are needed? Because, I could be wrong, but things like this happen so rarely, the cost still might be prohibitive.

This is a common pricing model for condos, but not for state plowing contractors. They get paid by the inch.

DH plows in the winter, but not for the town or the state. He plows about 30 private driveways, and he also uses a by-the-inch type of pricing model where he gets paid a certain fee for every 6 inches or snow, or fraction thereof. So a 4-6 inch storm would be a single rate, but anything over 6 inches up to 12 inches would be billed out at double. Some contractors charge per plowing, but that's a funky model and leaves no one satisfied because the contractor wants to plow multiple times, but the homeowner only wants him to come once, but it is the type, quantity, and timing of the snow that really drives how many times it needs to be plowed.

As far as folks in the south contracting with private contractors to do the plowing so that they don't need to buy all the equipment, I don't see how that would work either. Why would someone down there want to spend $50k to $60k to get a truck and plow if they will only need it once in a while, or perhaps every few years? There's not enough payback, and they are left with equipment they use rarely. Even up here in MA, there are years where we have little snow, and guys who buy new trucks and plows don't make enough to justify that expense that year.
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