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Madison mailbox reimbursement policy not enough for some

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Mailbox on the ground

MADISON (WKOW) -- During snow storms like we saw this weekend, mailboxes can be hit by snow plows from time to time.

The Madison Streets Division told us there are a few mailbox damage reports every time it snows.

Meghan Biddick woke up Sunday morning to her mailbox sprawled on the side of the street.

"We had seen other people get hit and now we were like aw man, now it's us," Biddick said.

In a neighbors Nest camera video across the street, you can see a couple other neighbors also get hit.

That's why the City of Madison has a policy to help pay homeowners back for the damage, up to a max of 75 dollars.

According to the city's policy, you'll only get reimbursed if your mailbox is up to USPS requirements.

It must have been installed six to eight inches from the curb and 41 to 45 inches up from the ground.

However Biddick says that 75 dollars just isn't enough.

"Oh it's probably going to be 300 bucks to replace that thing," she said. "We can't just go to Menard's or Home Depot to buy a random one to replace it. It has to be specific ones or we get a fine."

She says her Home Owners Association expects everyone's mailboxes to look the same.

After years of plowing, some people have opted to take the fine for not having the same mailbox.

Biddick doesn't know which route she'll take.

"Ours looked really good, but now, I'm like do I even bother fixing it," she said.

Her mailbox is being temporarily held together by screws, but other neighbors are opting for bungee cords.

Regardless she says her main gripe isn't with the plow drivers.

"I don't understand their job. It seems like it's a big machine to operate, I have nothing against them," Biddick said. "It's just really frustrating that this continues to happen."

She has already called the city to get someone out to see if her case meets reimbursement requirements.

In order to get reimbursed, the city's policy says you must repair or replace the mailbox yourself and keep any receipts.

Damage caused by the weight of snow exiting the plow is not covered.

You can read the full policy here.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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