From time to time Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann answers questions posed by readers or members of the Ewing Observer’s staff. This month, the mayor answers a question sent in by one of our readers.
These last two snowstorms we’ve had have ruined my mailbox caused by plowing. Twice. The first was in December. A couple of houses along my street suffered the same fate. When I went to Home Depot to buy a new mailbox, there were a couple of guys there shopping for one as well. Apparently, this is not uncommon.
This second snowstorm we had last week, same thing—three houses in a row, including mine.All our mailboxes were knocked off. It seems I live on a stretch of River Road (between Wilburtha & Villa Victoria) that allows these plow to drive on a higher speed that results in enough force to knock off our mailboxes.
The question is, do I have any recourse in holding anyone responsible for this? It is not a big expense, but I am not a handyman. If I pay someone to repair this in a professional manner, then the expense can be considerable.
We try to fix damaged mailboxes that are standard. For anything above $50, we only reimburse up to $50. The owner would then have to file an insurance claim. The following is the township ordinance on the issue:
In the event township vehicles or township employees, in the process of clearing snow and ice from the road, destroy or damage any mailbox and the support therefor, the township shall pay no more than $50 for destruction or significant damage to a mailbox and its support.
The township will not reimburse homeowners for mailboxes that were damaged from snow being thrown from plows/snow-removal vehicles.
To receive compensation, homeowners must contact the township public works in writing within two weeks of the time the mailbox is damaged. Public works will inspect to determine if snow or the plow/snow-removal vehicle caused the damage. If the damaged mailbox and support do not comply with the below-referenced minimum requirements, the township will not make such payment or will make a payment at a lower amount.
A. Every mailbox used for the receipt of mail should be approved by the United States Postal Service.
B. The front of the mailbox must be a minimum of eight inches from the curbline or edge of pavement of every roadway. If there is no pavement on the road, then it is from the generally accepted travel portion of the road.
C. The bottom of the mailbox must be at least 41 inches and no more than 45 inches above the roadway elevation.
D. All posts to support the mailbox shall be constructed of pressure treated lumber having dimensions of no less than four inches by four inches and being installed at least 30 inches below grade.
E. Number 8 minimum size screws that are weather resistant shall be used for the assembly of the mailbox and post. No nails for the construction of the same shall be permitted.
If you have a question for the mayor for a future edition, submit it by emailing email@example.com. You must be a Ewing resident.