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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mailbox Damage & Issues

Is your mailbox designed to stand up to the rigors of the winter plowing season? What happens if your mailbox is damaged by plowing activities? The answer depends on how the damage occurred.

If your mailbox is actually struck by a snow plow, the city will repair or replace the mailbox, providing it's a standard design that conforms to U.S. postal specifications for minimum height and setback.

See United States Postal Service guidelines

In addition to the U.S. Postal Service specifications, mailboxes must have a 10-inch clear-zone below the physical box. Therefore, any newspaper boxes or ornaments must be at least 10 inches back from the front of the mailbox. Damage to non-standard mailbox assemblies will be reimbursed on a sliding scale, based on the mailbox value. Some examples of non-standard boxes are: brick planters, mailboxes with custom lettering, custom designing or larger than standard installations.

Mailboxes should be installed and maintained to withstand snow coming off the end of the plow. If damage occurs due to snow discharge or snow storage, the city will not be responsible for repairs. The mailbox repair policy was revised by City Council in 2013.

City staff investigates each complaint. If an inspection shows that the mailbox was hit by a plow or other piece of equipment, a temporary mailbox is installed. Then in the spring, repairs are made to conforming installation.

If no signs of impact are evident, the resident is provided information about possible reasons for the problem. These may include inadequate construction or materials, needed maintenance or other sources of damage.