Mail Box Policy

For Installation, Replacement, and Maintenance
It is the goal of Maine Prairie Township to provide public rights of way for the traveling public that are safe, efficient, and is free of unnecessary hazards, while providing minimum inconvenience to property owners. Minnesota law declares certain mailbox installations to be a public nuisance, a road hazard, and a danger to the health and safety of the traveling public (Minnesota Rules Chapter 8818), and authorizes a road authority to remove and replace such a support (Statute 169.072).

In addition to these requirements, when there is an accumulation of snow, the location of mailboxes close to the highway makes the plowing operations of the Township difficult and renders the boxes susceptible to damage. The mailbox interferes with the plow’s wing blade. It is the townships policy to use special care and consideration when plowing snow in the vicinity of mailbox supports. Despite this care and consideration, some mailboxes will be damaged or destroyed during the snow removal season. In most cases it is the weight of the snow coming off the plow or wing blade, which destroys a mailbox. Occasionally, wings 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. Attached is a steel post mailbox support diagram, which has been approved for use in Maine Prairie Township. The use of this 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, convenient access to mailboxes and newspaper delivery.

  1. Configuration Requirements of Mailbox Supports - All mailbox supports shall be swing-away style, constructed, installed, and maintained in conformance with the attached detailed drawings and specifications.
  2. Call Before You Dig - 48 hours prior to installation of any new mailbox support, contact the Gopher State One Call for utility locates.
  3. Replacement of Unlawful Mailbox Supports and Installations - Any mailbox support deemed unlawful by the township shall be replaced by the owner with an approved swing-away support. Some unlawful supports are milk cans, wooden 4X4 or round poles and cemented brick supports.
  4. Replacement of Approved Damaged Mailbox Supports - The township/ road maintenance company will jointly replace an approved swing-away style mailbox support damaged by the township Maintenance Company during snowplowing operations or other maintenance activities provided the support was properly installed according to U.S. Postal and Maine Prairie Township standards. The township will not replace supports damaged by third parties. It will be up to the residents to install their own support and mailbox.
  5. Miscellaneous Attachments and/or Ground Flower arrangements to/or by 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, including the ground around, shall remain free of obstructions in order to allow the unhindered passage of the snowplow wing blade. Obstacles interfering with the wing blade force the plow to swerve, often into the oncoming lane, creating an unsafe situation for motorists and plow operators.
  6. Copies of the dimensions for a mailbox including distance from road can be obtained by calling the clerk.