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Policy change at US Postal Service leads to Utahns unable to get mail delivered

Policy change at US Postal Service leads to Utahns unable to get mail delivered (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A Heber City neighborhood has several cluster mailboxes. Still, at least two families who live in the neighborhood adjacent to the boxes cannot get mail delivery service.

Sara Mcaffee had no idea until after she'd moved in that, within the neighborhood's cluster mailboxes, there was no slot for her.

She says she spent a month contacting the post office, the builder as well as the neighborhood developer trying to get a mailbox installed that would accommodate all of the residents. No luck.

Sara says she's frustrated with no one wanting to take responsibility - and sick of having to schlep all the way across town to the post office just to get her mail.

“I have to go stand there in line and it's a 20-minute wait just to get mail,” she said.

As Get Gephardt has been reporting, a few years ago the postal service changed its policy. It used to be that the USPS would install cluster mailboxes but, in 2012, they decided that was too expensive. Installation responsibility was passed to developers, contractors, homeowners associations or homeowners.

That policy change created a unique situation in Sara’s neighborhood.

It indeed was the USPS that installed four cluster boxes in her neighborhood when ground was broken on the development. Those 4 boxes provided 48 slots. But the year was 2010 – before the policy change.

Eight years later, the neighborhood continues to expand. It now has 50 homes. And the USPS no longer takes responsibility for cluster box installations.

Get Gephardt reached out to both the developer and the USPS. Developer spokesperson Jason Rickards says he reached out to the USPS and they together agreed to a compromise on the cluster boxes.

"[The Postmaster] said, ‘If I order [the cluster boxes] and get them in, will you install them for me?’ We said of course we would,” he said.

For its part, USPS spokesperson Brain Sperry wrote in a statement, “we have provided the mailbox keys and deliveries are being made to both customers. We have apologized to them for the delay.”

Just like that, Sara’s neighborhood got a bigger box with enough slots for everyone.

Sperry confirmed the USPS policy that the purchase and installation of centralized box units are the responsibility of the developer, contractor, homeowners association or homeowner.

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