Residents Assured Note To Install Curbside Mailbox Only A Suggestion

A note from a postal carrier has new residents in an older Omaha neighborhood scratching their heads. The request to put up curbside mailboxes seemed more like an order.

New to the neighborhood at 130th Street and Westwood Lane, Carla Harbin got a welcome letter from the Postal Service suggesting she put up a curbside mailbox. “No, I wasn't going to take their suggestion.”

Then came a note to get her box moved curbside, ASAP. “Sounds like an order. What are you going to do, hold my mail? Why? I have a perfectly functioning box on my house here.”

A neighbor down the street got the same note and installed a $300 curbside mailbox. “We thought we better do it, otherwise we didn't want to get penalized and not get our mail,” said Rosa Andazola.

The Postal Service says customers shouldn't read too much into the notes. “The post-a-note is not to be construed as an order, it's just a suggestion,” said Roger Humphries with the U.S. Postal Service. When homes are purchased, new owners get the suggestion letter.

Andazola said if the Postal Service waits until a house sells before demanding a curbside mailbox, that'll take years. Right now, for several blocks there's only one. But the Postal Service hopes that encourages more moves to the curb.

“It’s just basically a request,” said Humphries. “We're trying to save money and it’s an opportunity to do so.”

“I don't have that kind of money to be dropping on a curbside box,” said Harbin.

Unless more homeowners on the block take the Postal Service suggestion, the mail carrier will walk, not drive, mailbox to mailbox.

Congress is considering a bill requiring curbside delivery or cluster boxes, but unless that passes the Postal Service will only request homeowners move their mailboxes to the curb.

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