Snow plows are essential in winter weather, but sometimes they take away more than snow and ice. Your mailbox may be the latest casualty in this past snow storm.
10/11 found several mailboxes pushed over by the heavy snow or taken out by a plow near 38th and Vine Streets. The city says there drivers try to avoid mailboxes, but, every once in a while, one is clipped or the heavy wet snow pulls the post from the ground.
Most people 10/11 talked to say they understand this can happen and just went ahead and fixed their mailbox. But, there are a few people who file property damage claims with the city.
City ordinance says property owners are responsible for maintenance and replacement to objects in the public right away.
According to the city's website, the public right of way, including the area between the street and sidewalk, is owned by the City. Property owners are allowed to place objects, such as mailboxes, sprinkler systems, landscaping and driveways, in the public right of way.
Property owners are responsible for maintenance, replacement or any damages to the objects on City property caused by, but not limited to snow removal, streets sweeping or other City activities.
Those with questions can contact the City Law Department at 402-441-7281.
City Attorney Rod Confer says the city handles about 10 mailbox damage claims each winter storm. He says people have up to a year to file a claim, but most are turned down because of the city ordinance.
The U.S. Postal Service requires a roadside mailbox to be where a carrier can reach inside without leaving the truck. According to their website, that means positioning it about 41” to 45” off the ground and back about 6” to 8” from the curb.
In areas with lots of snow, the USPS suggests a semi-arch or extended arm-type support. That way, snowplows will be able to sweep under without knocking it down.
In the end, it is the homeowner who is responsible for fixing or replacing a broke mailbox.