Yorkville updates mailbox replacement policy

This diagram shows the proper placement of a curbside mailbox for Yorkville residents. (City of Yorkville)

YORKVILLE – Is your mailbox up to city standards?

In the middle of spring, the last thing most homeowners are thinking about now is what might happen if their property’s mailbox is struck by a snow plow.

Yet warm weather is a good time to install, replace or adjust for the correct placement of that curbside mailbox.

As the city of Yorkville has discovered, a new mailbox doesn’t come cheap.

In 2006, the Yorkville City Council approved a mailbox reimbursement policy to cover damage during snow removal operations, providing homeowners with up to $75.

“During the 2021-22 winter season, the city had a handful of direct mailbox strikes, and the receipts generated by residents to replace the mailbox were much greater than $75,” City Administrator Bart Olson told aldermen in a memo.

“In most cases, these receipts were between $150 and $200,” Olson explained.

As a result, the city is increasing the reimbursement limit to $125. Aldermen approved the policy change at their May 24 meeting.

However, a homeowner whose mailbox is damaged or destroyed should not count on a $125 check from the city if the installation does not meet those city standards.

And for homeowners engaging in wishful thinking, damage caused by snow is not eligible for replacement.

Only mailboxes that are struck directly by a city vehicle or piece of equipment will be eligible.

If this happens, a resident should contact the Public Works Department within three days of the mailbox strike. The city will install a temporary mailbox while determining whether or not the city is responsible.

A representative of the Public Works Department will inspect the mailbox and decide whether the mailbox was installed properly, whether the material was in good condition and if it was indeed struck by a city vehicle.

If so, the homeowner is eligible for reimbursement of up to $125 for material to replace the mailbox. Under the new policy approved by the city council, the amount will be increased or decreased to reflect any change in the consumer price index.

To be reimbursed, the homeowner must submit receipts to the city after installation of the new mailbox is completed and inspected by the Public Works Department.

The standard for the height of a mailbox is from 36 to 42 inches, measured from the bottom of the mailbox to street level.

The front of the mailbox may not extend beyond the back of the curb or overhang the curb or street.

A 6-inch setback measured from the back of the curb to the front of the mailbox is suggested.

However, the front of the mailbox should not be more than 6 inches from the back of the curb.

Unacceptable support structures include brick, concrete, block, masonry or stone. The post should be made of wood or steel, but not large-dimensional lumber or steel.