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Mail delivery woes spread to other cities

Marion’s mail delivery disruptions are spreading to other cities.

Florence’s post office also falls under the jurisdiction of Marion’s postmaster and Florence residents along 5th St. have received notice that they are expected to use neighborhood boxes, with several residents’ boxes attached in one structure. Most residents on 3rd and 4th Sts. already have them installed.

Residents in the first three blocks of Roosevelt St. in Marion were expected to install curbside boxes in February because a carrier felt threatened by a dog.

Residents who did not have their boxes installed had their service suspended in April.

Florence Mayor Bob Gayle said he was told the Marion post office sent 15 letters to dog owners on 5th St. over the past year and a half, but said the city office wasn’t directly contacted until April 15.

Florence city clerk Janet Robinson said she has received calls from Florence postal worker Scott Zogleman regarding specific dogs, but none from the Marion post office.

When a call is received, the city sends a letter to the dog owner, and sends a city employee to handle the loose dog or other complaint if the issue continues, she said.

“It’s our post office,” one resident said. “If we are concerned enough to voice our opinions, it can make a difference.”

Florence citizens are concerned that if mail services keep shrinking they might be done away with all together in the future.

“If we don’t do something, nobody in town will have home delivery,” the resident said.

The city of Florence doesn’t keep records of how many dog complaints are made a year, or who made the report, Robinson said.

In Marion, some residents are concerned roadside delivery will expand beyond N. Roosevelt St.

If the post office continues to require roadside boxes, getting mail will be more difficult for the elderly, said a Marion resident whose mother-in-law is more than 90 years old.

“She barely gets out on her step,” the resident said. “To have her going all the way to the curb is dangerous.”

According to Marion police department records, there have been 10 reported dog bite incidents since 2016 in Marion, and 311 reports of loose dogs. The department doesn’t keep track of who made the report, Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said.

The number of overall dog complaints did increase over the past few years, from 66 in 2016 to 88 in 2017, 115 in 2018, and 42 so far in 2019. The number of reported dog bite incidents increased from one in 2016 to three in 2017, six in 2018, and none so far in 2019.

A request for dog complaint reports to Marion’s post office was directed to a United States Postal Service’s Freedom of Information Act officer. No response has been received since a request was submitted Friday.

Last modified May 1, 2019

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