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Atwater Council looks to control where mailboxes are located

ATWATER -- A recent increase in the number of mailboxes being installed on street corners and curbs has the Atwater City Council looking for ways to control their placement. "They seem to be popping up like mushrooms everywhere," said City Clerk Goldie Smith.

There's concern the mailboxes on city streets will interfere with snow plows, said Smith. Underground utilities may also be affected when people dig holes for posts.

Money may be a reason for the increase in mail boxes.

City residents are offered one free form of mail service -- either delivered on a route or picked up from post office boxes, said Postmistress Patty Kluver-Hartman.

Some city residents, who qualify for free route deliver, have opted instead to pay the annual fee to rent a post office box.

But in the last year or two, she said, there's been a slight increase in the number of people who've stopped paying for the PO Box and have instead put up their own mail box to receive free delivery by a mail carrier.

"These are tough times right now," said Kluver-Hartman. "Everyone is trying to find different avenues to save a dollar."

At their meeting Wednesday the Council instructed Smith to research the issue and draft an ordinance that might include a requirement to cluster mailboxes in an area.

In other action:

- Responding to a request from the city of Kandiyohi, Police Chief Reed Schmidt will prepare a proposal to provide about 10 hours of police coverage to the neighboring town.

- The city approved a three-year contract with West Central Sanitation to provide services in the city and approved a one-year contract with Bolton & Menk to serve as the city's engineer.

- The council was informed the rent the city pays for the library was being increased $50 a month to $750 and that the number of people participating in the senior dining program has been slowly increasing.

- The city will hold its truth in taxation hearing at 7 p.m. Dec. 2.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750