If you believe your mailbox was damaged during snow removal operations, please call 763.635.1120, or submit an incident report online here within 24 hours of the incident taking place. Please note, damage must be reported within 24 hours of the incident as city policy requires a Public Works employee to visit the site of the complaint in order to adequately survey the scene. Following the on-site survey of the scene, the plow operator responsible for the route that day is interviewed, and if the City of Elk River is determined to be at fault, staff will make contact with the homeowner and install a temporary mailbox. All temporary mailbox installations are documented throughout the winter, then when the ground has thawed in the spring, Public Works employees replace those temporary boxes with permanent, swing-away style mailboxes free of charge. If a resident prefers a different style of mailbox, they’ll be reimbursed $75 with proof of receipt of the alternate mailbox they purchased. In this case the resident will be responsible to install the mailbox themselves.
A few things to note - every year the city encounters its fair share of mailbox damage complaints that are the result of private plow companies hired to clear driveways and parking lots, as well as motorists who slide into residential boxes. When a plow makes contact with a mailbox, there are very obvious signs left including windrows from the plow blade, markings on the box or post itself, sod damage both near the damaged mailbox and upstream from it, among other things. The city does not take responsibility for mailboxes damaged by private snow removal contractors, motorists, or those damaged due to poor maintenance. It is up to the homeowner to ensure the integrity of the mailbox post. A strong, secure mailbox post will be able to withstand the snow being pushed off a plow’s wing during snow removal operations, however if the post is rotted at the ground (which is evident upon inspection as well), a gusty wind - not to mention a single pass of a snowplow - can easily result in a downed mailbox.