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      Snow removal costs and options

      The last leaves falling are a mere warning sign for what will fall next: snow, piling everywhere, and someone's got to clean it. Now's the time for consumers to stock up on snow removal hardware.

      "Depending on how big your driveway is and how much snow you need to move, there's definitely a lot of options," said Lowe's Hardware representative, Chad Savola.

      The snow is constant, but prices for snow removal tools change each year. Today a simple shovel will cost you about $5, a larger snow scoop will cost $15. More efficient, yet more expensive, snow blowers range from $600-$2,000.

      Yoopers tend to think in big snowstorms, the bigger the machine, the better. However, Lowe's representatives say that might not be the case. iIn fact, if you live in a city like Marquette with small sidewalks and smaller driveways, they say a smaller snow blower might be more economical.

      So why spend the extra dough for fancier snow skimmers, like snow blowers and scoops? The more extravagant the tool, the easier the clean up.

      "Obviously anytime you shovel, you're doing physical labor," Savola said. "Anything you can do to minimize the impact on your body and make it an easier job to do."

      Health is a concern, so if you aren't physically fit, you might want to opt for someone else to do the shoveling for you.

      Fuller Outdoor Maintenance in Marquette charges $15-$20 an hour based on the need of the consumer. The company has seen a 20 percent increase since last year as local consumers get busier.

      "They're looking for someone to provide dependable and reliable service with top grade equipment so we do our jobs and they can go to their jobs," said Fuller.