Sterling Heights signs on to ‘Uber-like’ snowplowing service

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 9, 2015

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Sterling Heights residents who need to have someone else take care of their snowplowing needs this winter will have a new option, according to city officials.

At an Oct. 6 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool introduced a new partnership that the city has made with a company called Plowz & Mowz. Residents can use a computer or mobile app to schedule and pay service providers to handle snow clearing and lawn mowing needs.

“Yes, we have to start thinking about snow removal,” Vanderpool said.

Vanderpool explained that Sterling Heights requires residences to have their sidewalks shoveled after a snow event. However, city officials have recognized that seniors sometimes have problems doing or arranging that.

However, he explained that Plowz & Mowz will let residents get their plowing and lawn mowing needs done through an “Uber-like platform or structure” — referring to the ride-sharing company. By doing so, residents may request service on an on-demand basis without having to sign a contract, which is common when hiring a company, he said.

“You only pay for each individual service call,” he said.

Android or Apple product users may download the Plowz & Mowz app, or people may sign up for the service on the city’s website. According to the city, residents may also find the service online by scrolling over the “I Want To” tab of the Sterling Heights city website home page.

To use the app, customers enter in details about their driveways, and then they schedule a time period for the job. When the service provider completes the job, customers get a photo of the work, and the customer may rate the provider. Payment is made by credit card.

The city says the service’s cost to have driveways, sidewalks and walkways cleared of snow starts at $35, but the final price could be higher based on the size of the driveway.

According to city officials, Sterling Heights is the first city in the U.S. to collaborate with Plowz & Mowz on a customized arrangement. The company was started in Syracuse, New York.

Plowz & Mowz representatives said the service providers are insured, and added that the company has held meetings with qualified providers.

Vanderpool thanked the company, the city attorney, city officials and Councilwoman Deanna Koski for her advocacy of the issue. Vanderpool said the city will host  senior subscriber fairs to share the news about Plowz & Mowz with senior residents.

Mayor Pro Tem Doug Skrzyniarz said the program is proof that the city is willing to take some chances to serve its residents.

“A program like this is a good example of why strategic plans and having a vision are important, because part of our strategic plan is to be innovative,” he said.

Learn more about Plowz & Mowz by visiting www.sterling-heights.net/plowzandmowz or www.plowzandmowz.com.

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