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Mailbox Damage Policy and Mailbox Construction Recommendations

Installation and Maintenance of Mailbox Supports

It is the goal of Lake County to provide public rights of way for the traveling public that are safe, efficient, and are 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 the road authority to remove and replace such a support (Statute 169.072).

Replacement of Mailbox Supports under County Highway Improvement Program

Lake County will provide and install at the County’s expense, conforming mailbox supports within the limits of all Lake County highway reconstruction and highway resurfacing projects.  The County is able to provide this service only on reconstruction/resurfacing projects since they are an eligible state aid expense and are therefore reimbursable.

Replacement of Unlawful Mailbox Supports and Installations

Any mailbox support deemed by the Lake County Highway Department, as defined by Minnesota Rules Chapter 8818, shall be replaced. Once a support is deemed unlawful, the owner will be notified in writing, that the owner shall replace within 60 days. As an incentive to use approved supports, the County provides the following options:

  • The owner may purchase the support from the County at the current rate (see Addendum No. 1), install it his(her)self, and remove the unlawful support.
  • The County will furnish and install an approved support for the fee currently in effect (see Addendum No. 1). Owner must remove unlawful support.

An unlawful support remaining after the expiration of the 60-day time period will be removed and replaced by the County at the owner’s expense up to $75.00 to cover the costs incurred.

Replacement of Damaged Mailbox Supports by Lake County

The Highway Department will replace all lawful mailbox supports damaged by County equipment during snowplowing operations or other maintenance activities provided the support was properly installed  according to U.S. Postal and Lake County Highway Department standards (see Attachment) and when actually hit by snowplowing equipment.  Heavy snows will result in pushing of snow away from the road; swing-away mailbox settings will survive heavy snow events.  Other mailbox supports are subject to breakage and said breakage, when resulting from the pushing of snow, will not be the responsibility of the Lake County Highway Department. The County will not replace supports damaged by third parties.

Mailbox Support Requirements part of Land Use and Access Permits

The Lake County Highway Department will require that all mailbox supports associated with the issuance of a land use permit and access permits be constructed in accordance with the Department’s specifications for lawful supports.  The property owner will pay for the cost of the supports.  The County will furnish and install an approved support for the fee currently in effect (see Addendum No. 1). The owner may opt to install it him(her)self.

Miscellaneous Attachments to 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 shall remain free of obstructions in order to allow the unhindered passage of the snowplowing 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.

Ownership of Mailbox Supports

Mailboxes and mailbox supports are the property of the mail route patron.  Lake County does not issue written permits for the placement of mailboxes within the road right-of-way, nor do our easements provide for mailbox construction.  All mailboxes placed within the road right-of-way are placed there at the owner’s risk.  Replacement or installation of mailbox supports by the County does not signify any change of ownership.  The support remains the property of the owner and it is the owner’s responsibility to maintain to conformance standards.

Interruption of Mail Delivery

When the County must remove and replace a mailbox support, it shall be done in such a manner as to cause no interruption of mail delivery if at all possible.

Spacing of Mailbox Supports

In accordance with Minnesota Rules Chapter 8818, mailbox supports shall be spaced no closer than 30 inches.

Call Before You Dig – Gopher State One Call

Forty-eight (48) hours prior to installation of any new mailbox support, contact the Gopher State One Call for utility locates at any of these three numbers:

  • 811
  • (651) 454-0002
  • (800) 252-1166

or visit Gopher State One Call online.

Policy for Installation and Maintenance of Mailbox Supports

Addendum No. 1 – Fee Schedule

Mailbox supports will be available for purchase by any property owner in Lake County.

  • Option 1 – Approved Mailbox Support – $50.00
    The cost is for actual material costs only; there is an additional $25.00 charge for installation (mailbox not included); due to liability concerns, the Lake County Highway Department will only install mailbox supports at locations along roadways under the county’s jurisdiction (County State Aid Highways, County Roads and UT Roads.)
  • Option 2 – County-installed Mailbox Support – $75.00
    Installation includes the support only; removal of the old support and attaching the mailbox to the new support is the responsibility of the resident owner (mailbox not included.)