For the week of October 14 thru October 20, 1998  

Bellevue Council vetoes home delivery

Express Staff Writer

The Bellevue City Council has asked the U.S. Postal Service to inaugurate a walking delivery route throughout town. Under such a system, mail carriers could deliver mail to boxes installed on private property off the city rights of way.

The council directed city administrator Janice Moroni to write a letter to the post office asking for the route at the end of a council meeting Thursday.

The council had earlier rejected a proposed resolution to allow mailboxes in the city right of way. The proposed change to the Bellevue street standards ordinance would have allowed residents to place mailboxes in the right of way if they obtained a permit.

The council rejected the resolution due to concerns about liability and possible damage to underground wires and pipes caused by mailbox installations.

A temporary permit process to install mailboxes in the right of way had been in effect for about a month.

Installing mailboxes on private property presents a challenge, because the city’s 80-foot right of way puts the boxes 27 feet off the city pavement, which isn’t accessible for a mail carrier in a vehicle.

Mayor Monte Brothwell suggested rural walking delivery to solve the problem. He said carriers on foot could reach the mailboxes on private property and liability wouldn’t be an issue for the city.

"The U.S. Postal Service is making it hard on city entities to provide a service that they’re supposed to provide," he said.

Council members agreed.

"I’ve always had a mailbox on my house," said Councilwoman Kathy Clark. "What is wrong with a walking route? My God, they have walking routes in states where it’s 40 degrees below. The post office has to do their job and deliver the mail."

According to Bellevue postmaster Faye Barker, if the city permits the postal service to do delivery to homes and the agency chooses not to do so, federal regulations require it to give residents free post office boxes.

Currently, mail is delivered to the homes of 15 residents who installed mail boxes during the past month, as well as to 190 residents who live on the outskirts of town.


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