Map shows preliminary locations for community mailboxes coming this summer, according to data from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Residents with postal codes beginning in R2R and R2X will see a roll-out on July 20, while residents in R2N and R2M will see the roll-out begin Aug. 17.
By the end of this summer, more than 1,200 additional community mailboxes will be in place across Winnipeg.
Councillors are hoping an anticipated report by the city on how Canada Post will be handling added costs such as snow clearing, sidewalk installation and garbage collection will help clarify lingering questions over their impact.
According to data obtained by the Free Press from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, more than 300 community mailboxes will be operational by July 20 in north Winnipeg in the R2R and R2X postal code area; the area south of where more than 400 community mailboxes were installed last October.
By Aug. 17, more than 500 community mailboxes will be operational in the St. Vital area for residents with R2N and R2M postal codes.
Wayne Roseberry had a mailbox installed at the corner of his property on Jefferson Avenue in October and said it has caused multiple problems. He said mailbox users travel across the boulevard, ruining the grass; his driveway gets used as a temporary parking spot as people pick up their mail; and the blue elastics that hold the mail together are strewn across his lawn.
"People park there to get their mail and I can't even get to my garage," he said, adding the boulevard he once spent time caring for is now trampled and littered with cigarette butts.
"It is all full of weeds now and the grass doesn't grow properly anymore."
In the winter, he said workers contracted to clear the snow around the mailbox come around frequently, but aren't required to clear the sidewalks leading up to the mailbox — an issue that didn't come up last winter, which saw light snowfall, but could be a problem if Winnipeg has a bad winter, he said.
It is concerns like these Coun. Ross Eadie hoped to have addressed when he spearheaded the motion asking for the report in December.
Council voted in January to give the public service 120 days to come back with the report, which would also detail the protocol in which services are paid for by Canada Post and amend any bylaws needed to install no-parking signs adjacent to these mailboxes.
The Mynarski councillor wants assurances from the administration the Crown corporation will not off-load costs to the city when they install community mailboxes.
After Hamilton, Ont., lost its battle to force Canada Post to obtain a $200 permit per site to install mailboxes on municipal land, Eadie feels this is going to be an uphill battle for the city.
One example he noted was the issue of no-parking signs, which will be installed around the mailboxes and could require additional resources from the Winnipeg Parking Authority to monitor.
"What you could say to Canada Post is whenever there is a cost required from the mailbox, then Canada Post has to be involved," he said.
"They are installing another 800 mailboxes, so there could be more significant costs, like putting in a sidewalk... the administration is talking to Canada Post, so let's see what they come to the table with when it comes to covering costs."
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Public works chairwoman Coun. Janice Lukes said the report might come to her committee next week or it may be delayed.
She is hoping the report clarifies concerns that have been brought forward about the maintenance of the area surrounding the mailboxes.
Canada Post has said it will handle all costs associated with the mailboxes and currently gives the city $50 per community mailbox they install.
— with files from The Canadian Press
Request for information
Information council has requested from the public service about community mailboxes:
That the Winnipeg public service establish a definition for Canada Post's community mailbox installations as property that is adjacent to the public boulevard and define the property owners' responsibilities regarding the adjacent public property in the relevant bylaw and policies.
That the public service create a protocol and amend any policy or bylaw to install no- parking/loading zone signs on roadways adjacent to community mailboxes, to be paid for by Canada Post to make their property and service accessible to the users.
That the public service clarify the responsibility of Canada Post to clear snow windrows around community mailbox installations, in the same manner homeowners must do with any snow windrows that block their walkway to the street.
That the public service report back to the standing committee in 120 days.
That the proper officers of the city be authorized to do all things necessary to implement the intent of the foregoing.