Centralized Mailboxes in need of Replacement
Over the winter users were told that their centralized mailboxes need to be replaced. Some people were forced to retrieve their mail from the post office due to various issues with the boxes, mainly, the lack of being able to keep these boxes secure.
Postmen carried tools with them through the freezing cold temperatures of winter and did their best to keep the boxes secure so they could continue being used.
The issues - the back doors of some of the boxes fall off when postmen try to put mail in them, pins and hinges are continuously being replaced on the back access doors and on individual slots, one was hit over the winter, another on Lake Shore broke loose from its post, others are severely rusted and some are not secure from the inside, the mail falls out of the front and back of the ones near the beach due to them being severely tipped.
Conclusion, it's time to think about a solution. Not only do they look bad, they have become a constant maintenance problem.
After much inquiry, the unit replacements fall back on the users , who are considered the owners of the units. The replacement for each unit would be about $1000 or more plus installation, or mail recipients would have the option to move to a P.O. Box and pay an annual fee.
Initially, there was not an inexpensive solution other than to get volunteers to try to revamp the boxes with the assistance of the postmaster just to buy some more time, but users were told their life expectancy had really passed.
Then, an opportunity came about! Our Middlefield postmaster learned of several units that was purchased by the USPS and installed at a location and then removed only a month or so later! Brand new, hard steel boxes that will last approximately 25 years or so, to replace the plastic and aluminum ones that are currently installed and falling apart! Each of these newer units has 16 horizontal delivery slots and 2 parcel lockers.
The only thing the postmaster asked was for users to pour the concrete pads that they will anchor to, in exchange for the FREE mailboxes! The postmaster has agreed that they will anchor everything to the pads and furnish the hardware to do so, plus furnish new locks and keys to replace those not recovered, in addition to the generous USPS investment and donation of the $11,200 worth of boxes.
After much discussion, and people stepping up that want to see the boxes replaced, our local post office was able to secure the 7 mailbox replacements, worth $1600 each.
The pads that will need to be poured to these specs, 3' x 3' x 4" deep or 3' x 6' for the side by side units, adding up to only dollars if everyone pitches in for materials. The few bucks it will cost to ensure they are secure seems like a great opportunity that will not only keep units where they are, but is by far cheaper than being forced into a PO box or purchasing our own new units.
There are over 100 people utilizing these central boxes. Many thanks to the awesome volunteers that have offered to help save these users money and make this project happen!
Here is an image of the new mailbox units that was forwarded on from the postmaster...
The Lake Beseck Association has been acting as the liaison between lake residents and the post office. The volunteer initiative was discussed further at a Lake Beseck Association meeting held on Thursday May, 21 at 7 PM where a unanimous decision was reached to move forward with the initiative. All were in favor of the LBA fronting the initial cost for materials. Suggestions were made on how to recoup the expense, such as a donation cup during the LBA picnic, having the postmaster collect money when keys were picked up, and the other thought was that the initiative may encourage Lake Beseck Association memberships.
The LBA is asking to help spread the word about the project. More help is needed with digging pads, mixing concrete, pouring the 3' x 3' x 4" concrete pads, quallity control, etc.
Many thanks to our volunteers so far:
Ed Bailey, John Beichner, Curt Cromack, Cindy DiLauro, Jon & Kim Elliott, Christine Graichen, Ron Frost, Craig Lundell, John Manning, Rob & Amy Poturnicki, Rick Santos, Pete Sibley
If you wish to donate toward or volunteer for the project, please respond below or use the "contact us" link.