It is the policy of the City of Holland to pay damage claims, or make physical repairs, to mailboxes and/or posts that have been directly hit by a snowplow blade or some portion of the plow truck. The City is not liable and does not pay claims for mailboxes or posts that are damaged due to their inability to withstand the force of plowed snow. Home and business owners need to be aware that the force of snow being thrown by a plow during one heavy snowfall, or over a series of plowings, is substantial, and mailboxes need to be able to withstand the impact of plowed snow. No portion of the mailbox should extend beyond the back of the curb. The U.S. Postal Service standards state that the bottom of the box should be 42 to 48 inches above the surface of the street. The front of your mailbox should be approximately 6 to 8 inches away from the edge of the street or the back of the curb if you have one.
If you believe your mailbox was physically hit by a plow, you should call the Transportation Services Department at 928-2400. We will send someone to review it. A mailbox hit by a plow will look demolished, or have a clear indication of being struck by a plow blade. If your mailbox was hit by a plow, the City offers two options:
1) We will provide and install a standard mailbox and/or post, or replace the existing mailbox or post; however, you must be aware that this repair or replacement may take several days depending on snowfall or workload.
2) You may replace the box yourself, and file a claim form with the City Clerk’s Office for reimbursement. This will be forwarded to the insurance company for review.
In either case, you must notify the Transportation Services Department of your decision. If there is no evidence that the mailbox was hit by the plow, you will be so notified and instructed that the replacement of the mailbox is your responsibility. You still have the right to file a claim against the City if you believe the City is liable, and it will be referred to the City’s insurance carrier for resolution.
Snow plowing is difficult work that is usually done under the worst of circumstances. City employees are professionals who take pride in their work, and accidents due to direct hits from plows are rare. They do happen on occasion, though, and when they do, we make every effort to acknowledge them and do what is appropriate to make conditions right. In a similar manner, we would ask residents whose mailboxes are damaged by the force of snow to promptly undertake the necessary repairs themselves.