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  • Last modified 5 days ago (Nov. 7, 2019)

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Mail delivery box change draws patrons' jeers, cheers

Staff writer

Recent reports of dogs harassing Marion mail carriers have led to the decision to install cluster mailboxes for residents north of Santa Fe St. between 3rd and 4th Sts.

Marion resident Lisa Stultz said she understands the change.

“It probably keeps our mail carriers safer,” she said. “You never know when the dogs are out and running around. There are always dogs barking and fighting down the road.”

Residents were notified two weeks ago that they would either use the “cluster” mailboxes or switch to a post office box.

United States Postal Service released a statement to Senator Jerry Moran’s office in July, citing safety concerns for mail carriers. Mentioned in the statement were two mail carriers who were reportedly injured by dogs during 2016 and 2017 in Marion, Florence, and Peabody.

Also cited was a July incident where a Peabody man was attacked and had to be flown to Wichita by emergency helicopter. The July attack did occur on private property, where the dog was chained up.

Calls to Senator Moran’s office for any updates on the inquiry were not returned.

Stultz said she has had trouble with loose dogs as well.

“We had to get covered trash cans because of the dogs that run around would string our trash all over the street,” she said.

Not all county residents affected are happy, though.

Florence resident Paul Wikoff orders packages for his pest control business, but he says they are too long to fit in the cluster box.

“How would they do that in downtown Wichita,” he said. “If the carrier felt unsafe delivering mail, it could be dogs, cats, whatever reason, once the situation is fixed, what’s the process for getting it reinstated? That should be available.”

Wikoff picks up packages at Florence’s post office, but said getting there is difficult with a full-time job since it closes by 1 p.m. on weekdays and by 10:30 a.m. Saturdays.

Moving to cluster boxes might work for mail carriers, but it doesn’t help residents who have trouble with stray dogs, Stultz said.

“It saves them, but doesn’t save us because now we have to get out,” she said. “I wish there was a leash law in Marion, but there’s not. I’ve called in stray dogs and there’s nothing they can do because there’s not a leash law.”

Calls to a post office public relations representative were not returned by publication time.

Wikoff said he talked to Marion postmaster Lori Kelsey about arranging a meeting in Florence, but never received full explanation on how to reverse a decision regarding mail delivery.

“If it was followed by a process they’re using to protect the mail carrier, I’m good with that,” he said. “There has to be a process to return it back, and that’s we’re not getting any information.”

Still, Wikoff expressed hope for residents in Marion, Peabody, and Florence who are using new boxes or picking up their mail at the post office.

“There’s a rule of law that needs to be followed,” he said. “In this case, that law is the ability to change it back.”

Recent cluster box additions since the summer in Florence occurred at W. 5th St.

Last modified Nov. 7, 2019

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