An ordinance to prohibit parking in front of mailboxes will go before the city of Union Board of Aldermen.

In January the city first discussed a possible ordinance preventing vehicles from blocking mailboxes. The city had received complaints after cars parked in front of mailboxes the mail carriers prevented the carries from being able to access the mailbox to deliver the mail. 

Aldermen instructed City Administrator Russell Rost to look into the issue. At the Feb. 3 personnel, finance and public works committee Rost presented his findings from his investigation into the issue. 

Rost reported he found two cities who have implemented similar ordinances. One of the two piqued the interest of Rost and that was the one that prohibited parking within 10 feet of a mailbox.

That particular ordinance is only initiated after there is a complaint filed.

“I think this is a good addition to that ordinance because we rarely get a complaint about this,” Rost said.

Rost further explained that when there is a complaint it is normally a neighbor dispute.

“This is not something I think we would send someone out to patrol for but when we do have a complaint we can address it,” Rost added.

Rost added that after the investigation with the post office and the complaint the city received from a resident and the resulting conversation with a mail carrier, the 10-foot parking rule would have to be “required” in order to ensure that the resident would get their mail.

Committee members approved the motion for the ordinance to be brought before the board of aldermen. There was one amendment made to the proposed ordinance and that was that it only prohibit parking within 10 feet of a mailbox between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Background

This issue was brought up at the Jan. 6 personnel, finance and public works committee meeting.

There are two types of mail delivery in Union, rural and urban. Rost said the latest  problem is affecting rural mail routes, where the mail carrier delivers the mail by a vehicle and not a mail truck. 

When the delivery can’t happen, Rost explained that sometimes notices are placed in the mailbox for the resident to pick up the mail at the post office, but in other cases residents call the postal office after not receiving mail after a couple days and find out their mail is not being delivered. 

The committee discussed several possible solutions to the issue. These included making the recommendation that residents move their mailboxes to the edge of their driveways or passing an ordinance that would prohibit parking in front of mailboxes. 

Committee members also discussed having the ordinance only prohibiting parking in front of mailboxes for a span of time during the day when mail is delivered. 

Committee members pointed that a problem with passing an ordinance would be its difficulty to enforce. Another problem is that it is not necessarily the residents who are parking in front of the mailbox but guests of those residents. 

Without reaching a consensus, the committed instructed Rost to look further into the issue and do research as to how it could be solved. 

Rost said the proposed new ordinance could help address the issue and, because it would be complaint based, would be easier to enforce.