Mailbox Issues

mailboxIs 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 and City specifications for minimum height and setback.

Mailbox Specifications

Mailboxes should be installed and maintained to withstand snow coming off the end of the plow, however. If damage occurs due to snow discharge or snow storage, the city will not be responsible for repairs.

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.

Tips For Homeowners

In order to avoid problems with your mailbox during the winter season, residents are encouraged to follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your mailbox conforms to postal and city standards. That means the bottom of the box is 48 inches above the street, and the mailbox is mounted so the door, when closed, does not extend beyond the back of the concrete curb.
  • In general, avoid installation of paper boxes, flower planters or other attachments beneath the mailbox. However, if you do install these items, be sure they are set back at least 10 inches from the front of the mailbox. The city will not be responsible for damage to these items from snow discharge.
  • Conduct regular inspections and perform routine maintenance on your mailbox, just as you would for other parts of your property.
  • Clear snow away from the mailbox area after each plowing. Snow that remains in front of mailboxes will get compacted by post office vehicles and make subsequent plowing less effective.

Questions about the mailbox policy or snow removal procedures should be directed to the Public Works Department, (320) 258-7339.