Massillon neighborhood misses out on mail for 2 years due to damaged boxes

MASSILLON, Ohio - Diana Pachis was raised in the Walnut Hills community of Massillon.  She remembers that in the 1980's, the U.S. Postal Service replaced each home's individual mailbox  with cluster mail boxes.

Over the years, she says several of the boxes had been damaged and were quickly replaced.

But two years after one of the clusters on Osage Street was damaged, it has yet to be replaced.

A second cluster was also damaged and removed about six months ago, and now no one on the street has been getting mail delivery.

"Nobody gets delivered mail on Osage, you either have it delivered to a friend's house or you go down to the post office," said Sue Merritt, who lives on the street.

George Simmons owns several properties in the community and says he has had to take several of his tenants to the post office himself to get their mail because they don't have cars.

"Like Sue, who has a handicapped husband, two handicapped children and does not drive, had to wait two to three weeks at a time for someone to come and get her and take her downtown to get her mail," said Pachis, who is now president of the neighborhood association.

"In some cases, some other residents, their mail was sent back. They didn't know where their mail was so they didn't get it. Like Sue didn't get a lot of doctors' notifications and government papers that they get so they went without," added Pachis.

Pachis and Merritt have both contacted the U.S. Postal Service, starting with their local post office and following up with calls all the way to Columbus.

They have also tried getting help from city leaders in Massillon.

Pachis says since they were first put in, the U.S. Postal Service has replaced any of the damaged cluster boxes but for much of the past two years she has been getting mixed signals.

"The first set, about six years ago, we had no problem replacing them and this time when I called for Sue about a year and a half ago, two years, they told me that they would not replace them they didn't feel it was their responsibility they felt it was the association's," said Pachis.

David Van Allen, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Cleveland says a lengthy replacement process and inclement weather has contributed to the delays but he tells Fox 8 News the boxes will be replaced by the end of this month.​