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Elderly woman charged $1,200 for one time snow removal

By: Melanie Gillespie and WJAC Web Staff

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Shoveling and sweeping for a Johnstown woman who is 88-years-old isn't for the faint of heart with an already brutal winter.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she saw the ad in a newspaper and called the only company she could find who advertised snow removal.

She said that Tri-County Chimney Service removed the snow off of her five window awnings and the top of her carport and handed her a $1,200 bill.

"With a senior citizen, I thought, well surely he wouldn't. If he would've said $500, I wouldn't have thought so much about it," she said. "But $1,200 really is hitting the bottom of the barrel."

She said she was too shocked to argue the bill, and wrote him a check for $1,200.

Mike Robson is the owner of Tri-County Chimney Service.

He said he thought the figure was fair, and runs a professional business, however, it's not a business that can be done at minimum wage.

He said he and another worker were at her house for 2-3 hours and gave her a bill of $1,200.

If that's broken down by hour, it averages out to about $200-300 a hour on the clock.

Robson said he charges it based on the job and because it's a high-risk job that comes with insurance and liability.

However, other businesses like Milkie's Landscaping on Eisenhower Boulevard said the average price it charges is $40 a hour.

The woman gets help from neighbors to shovel sidewalks and her driveway, but said this will make her think twice about asking for outside help.

"I was careful, but he caught me off guard," she said. "I think when you're 88-years-old, surely in the name of God, somebody's not going to pull stuff like that on you.'

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times