Damaged mailboxes: City’s or residents’ responsibility?

Centerville resident Mike Weiner, who lives on Peltier Lake Drive, claims his mailbox was damaged in December after a city plow struck it. 

CENTERVILLE — Resident Mike Weiner, who lives on Peltier Lake Drive, says his mailbox has now been damaged twice by the city's plows. The first time was in the spring of 2019; it was damaged again last month.

He said he informed the city of the situation; each time, an inspector was sent to his property. Following the inspection, he was told that the city would not cover the damage because it was not caused by the snowplow itself, but rather the snow the plow was pushing.

“They said the snow from the plow caused the damage, therefore (they) do not take responsibility, the actual plow/driver did nothing wrong ... If the city takes responsibility, (it) would have to repair the other damaged mailboxes,” Weiner explained.

“The city’s practice is to pay for the replacement of mailboxes hit by city plows at a cost of up to $150,” said City Administrator Mark Statz. “However, mailboxes which are damaged due to the windrow of snow created by the plow (not the plow itself) are not covered. In other words, we expect that residents will have a mailbox which is sturdily constructed.

“The city does hit a few mailboxes each year,” he continued, “and we gladly pay for their replacement when it’s clear that it was our fault.”

Weiner said his postal carrier confirmed that there are many other mailboxes down along her route in the city of Centerville. The Hugo Post Office, which serves the Centerville area, could not confirm how many mailboxes are damaged because that is not something it tracks. If the mailbox is severely damaged, the carrier will not deliver mail. Instead, the carrier will continue to bring it back to the post office until the problem is corrected, said Hugo Postmaster Diane Jackson.

For now, Weiner said he’s thankful he is still able to receive mail, but said his mailbox is “hanging by a thread.”

“My mail carrier told me there are no less than 20 mailboxes in the Centerville area that have similar or worse damage,” Weiner said. “I’m simply asking for the city to repair the damage their plows caused, or, at the very least, apologize.”

 

Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or quadnews@presspubs.com.

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