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Plow driver damages 30 mailboxes along Pine Street

While trying to clear snow away from the sides of Pine Street, a Hastings plow driver damaged 30 mailboxes early last week.

It was just after 5 a.m. Feb. 22, said Public Works Superintendent John Zgoda. The darkness was one factor in the accident; the other was the buildup of ice along the curb, which allowed the plow to ride up onto the curb. The driver did not immediately realize he was hitting the mailboxes, Zgoda said, but reported it as soon as he did.

"We addressed the problem that day and the next day," Zgoda said.

The city holds itself responsible for damage to mailboxes if they're hit by the plow or truck itself. If damage is caused by snow rolling off the plow, however, repairs fall to the homeowners.

It's fairly common, Zgoda said, for snow to break mailboxes, but damage caused by the plows themselves is relatively rare. Heavy snowfall has made it especially difficult for plow operators.

"With this year's snow... we have probably gotten more mailboxes this year than ever," Zgoda said.

As soon as he was notified of the incident, Zgoda had crews - including the operator responsible - out to fix the boxes temporarily so that residents were able to continue receiving their mail.

"New posts will be installed after the snow melts," Zgoda said.

The city will be sitting down with the operator to hear his account of the incident.

"It's just unfortunate that it happened," Zgoda said.