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  • Last modified 79 days ago (May 30, 2019)

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Postmaster speaks at Peabody council

Recent dog incidents have led city to request residents install curbside mailboxes

Staff writer

Marion postmaster Lori Kelsey made her first appearance at a city council meeting Tuesday after a decision to make residents install curbside mailboxes like the ones already required in Marion sparked frustration.

Residents were made aware of the requirement on May 8 and were given 15 days to comply or have their mail held at the post office.

Some residents in Peabody have already installed curbside mail boxes because postal workers have been involved in three incidents with potentially hostile dogs in less than a week, Kelsey said.

“I almost lost a carrier,” Kelsey said. “She almost quit because she was chased twice within 30 minutes by two different dogs.”

She said the carriers in Peabody have been chased by dogs on multiple occasions and said that this is not safe.

“I can’t expect my carriers to work in that environment,” she said.

Peabody resident Harold Davis said he received an e-mail from the post office, and later saw a postal carrier marking houses with flags to note where curbside boxes should be installed.

“I got two different statements,” he said of the decision. “When I went to the post office, I got a third excuse. Every time, they threw the city under the bus.”

Davis said a postal worker told him that there had been an incident where someone was bitten, but Kelsey said she was not aware that reason had been given for the decision.

Peabody has had nine complaints of loose dogs this past month, two of which were filed by the post office, councilman Travis Wilson said.

Councilman Rick Reynolds warned dog owners that the city will issue tickets to owners who let their pets run loose.

“I’ve lived here six years and I’ve had a dog since I lived here,” he said. “I guarantee they have zero problems writing citations for a dog because I’ve gotten three.”

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burk said he would talk to city judge Brad Jantz about increasing fines for a loose dog.

As a commuter town, finding time to get to the post office is difficult. It’s a problem if packages stop being delivered directly to the door, councilman Lindsey Hutchison said.

“I have 15 children in every possible activity, so Saturday is not an option,” she said. “Unless I take a day off work, and whatever’s in the mail isn’t worth my hourly wage, it’s not beneficial.”

Kelsey said the Peabody post office plans to install a parcel locker in the lobby and notify residents that they have a package being held for them.

“If people work out of town and they call in, we will make their package available the next day in the parcel locker,” she said.

Kelsey’s visit to Peabody coincided with a busy week in Marion for loose dogs, with two citations issued on different occasions. Officers met last with with postal workers to discuss the problem.

“Usually there are circumstances when someone gets a dog-at-large ticket, like they’re not answering,” said Clinton Jeffrey, police chief in Marion. “Not that they’ve done something more wrong, but they haven’t helped the situation.”

Likely reasons to issue citations include dogs tearing through trash, or repeatedly escaping, he said.

Last modified May 30, 2019

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