Mailboxes and Mailbox Supports Policy

I. Purpose

It is the goal of this policy to provide guidelines for mailboxes and mailbox supports within the road authority’s right-of-way.  For the safety of the traveling public, the following policy applies to mailboxes and their installation on City streets per MN §169.072.

II. Mailbox Regulations

Mailbox installation that conforms to the following criteria will be considered acceptable unless it interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance or operation of the street system.

Mailboxes shall be located on the right-hand side of the roadway in the carrier’s direction of travel.  The bottom of the box shall be set at an elevation established by the US Postal Service, between 41 and 45 inches above the roadway surface.  The mailbox should be set back 6 to 8 inches from the edge of the curb.  Mailboxes must meet the required STD-7B standards of the US Postal Service.

III. Mailbox Support Regulations

All mailboxes supports shall be swing-away style; constructed, installed and maintained in conformance with the attached drawing and following specifications.

The post must be embedded a minimum of four feet below ground and project at least two feet about ground.  A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than ten inches below the ground surface.

Any mailbox support deemed unlawful may be replaced by the owner with an approved swing-away support.  Examples of unlawful supports are milk cans, wooden 4x4 or round posts and cemented brick supports.

IV. Call Before You Dig

It is the property owner’s responsibility to contact Gopher State One Call for utility line locates a minimum of 48 hours prior to the installation of any new mailbox support.

V. Removal of Unlawful Mailbox Supports and Installations Notice

In accordance with MN §169.072, any mailbox and/or support that is found to violate the intent of this policy shall be removed by the property owner upon notification by the City of Kimball.  At the discretion of the City, based on an assessment of the hazard to the traveling public, the property owner shall be given 60 days to remove and replace the unacceptable mailbox and/or support.  After the 60 days has expired, the unacceptable mailbox and/or support will be removed and replaced by the City at the property owner’s expense, not to exceed the statutory limit, currently $75.

VI. Replacement of Approved Damaged Mailbox Supports

The City will replace approved swing-away style mailbox supports damaged by the City during snowplowing operations or other maintenance activities provided the support was properly installed according to US Postal Service and City of Kimball standards.  The City will not replace mailbox supports damaged by third parties.  It will be the property owner’s responsibility to install their own support and mailbox.

VII. Miscellaneous Attachments To and Below Mailbox Supports

Newspaper delivery boxes, advertisement delivery boxes, nameplates, address plates, etc. shall not be installed underneath the mailbox, whether attached to the mailbox support or on a separate post.  The area underneath the mailbox shall remain free of obstructions in order to allow the unhindered passage of the snowplow blade.  Obstacles interfering with the blade force the plow to swerve, often into the oncoming lane, creating an unsafe situation for motorists and plow operators.

Avoid installation of flower planters and other items beneath the mailbox.

VIII. Ownership

Mailboxes and mailbox supports are the property of the mail patron.  All mailboxes placed within the road right-of-way are placed there at the property owner's risk.  Replacement or installation of mailbox supports by the City of Kimball does not signify any change of ownership.  The support remains the property of the owner and it is the owner's responsibility to maintain to conformance standards.

IX. Damage

In addition to these requirements, when there is an accumulation of snow, the location of mailboxes close to the street makes the plowing operations of the City difficult and renders the boxes susceptible to damage.  The mailbox interferes with the plow’s blade.  It is the City’s policy to use special care and consideration when plowing snow in the vicinity of mailbox supports.  Despite this care and consideration, some mailboxes may be damaged or destroyed during the snow removal season.  In most cases it is the weight of the snow coming off the plow or blade, which destroys a mailbox.  Occasionally, plows will hit and damage them, especially when oncoming traffic makes it impossible for the plow operator to swerve around the support.

We believe most of the mailbox damage that occurs during a typical winter would be eliminated if postal patrons would install a mailbox support that swings-away when hit by snow or snowplow equipment.  The use of the approved mailbox support provides a much safer environment for all motorists.  It also makes the job of snow removal much easier and reduces cost and irritation to the mail patron when boxes are destroyed due to flying snow. 

This policy is intended to minimize damage to mailboxes during snow plowing operations, while providing consistent and convenient access to mailboxes and newspaper delivery.

Be sure to clear snow away from the mailbox area after each plowing.  Snow that remains in front of mailboxes will get compacted by postal vehicles and make subsequent plowing less effective.