Wabasha County mailboxes: road hazards - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Wabasha County mailboxes: road hazards


NEAR MAZEPPA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Mailboxes may not be the first thing you think of when you hear of road hazards, but now it's something 430 homeowners in Wabasha County are being forced to think about. Last week the county's highway department sent out a letter telling people their mailboxes weren't in compliance with state guidelines.

Homeowners say they are shocked the county spent tax money surveying the mailboxes of people that live on county roads. Furthermore, they're not happy about having to spend money to fix their boxes by the middle of July.

"It just kind of came out of the blue. Why now are they coming around saying everyone's mailboxes aren't in compliance," said Steve Wiech, a homeowner cited for a non-compliant mailbox.

The county says a wooden fence post has supported Wiech's mailbox for the past 30 years is now a road hazard. In order to meet the state guidelines, Wiech will have to make his fence post smaller.

"Replace it or chisel it out and cut it down so that it's down to 4-inches in diameter," explained Wiech.

Wiech is just one of 430 homeowners, who were told their mailboxes aren't in compliance with state guidelines. Wabasha's County Engineer Dietrich Flesch  said the highway department wants all of the mailboxes to be consistent with one another - and up-to-date on state guidelines. Wiech said he thought he was mailbox was up to standards.

"I went right to the post office and got the specs on how to do it. I thought it was what I was supposed to have," stated Wiech.

The letter to homeowners indicates why their mailbox doesn't meet state guidelines and they can fix it so it does. Many of the suggestions involve spending money.

"Bring your old one in and go to Wabasha, they'll sell you a new one. What do you think about that? I think it's ridiculous, why are they in the business of selling postal boxes," explained Wiech.

No matter how people chose to make their mailboxes compliant with state laws upgrades will need to be made before July 15th.

Wiech said he is frustrated that Wabasha County wasted a lot of money by surveying mailboxes and sending out letters to homeowners who didn't meet state guidelines. The county's engineer said safety is a major concern and push for the mailbox compliance.

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