Brick Mailboxes Outlawed in Medina County
MEDINA, Ohio- Mailboxes across northeast Ohio take a pounding from snow plows during the winter.
But a new ordinance in Medina County requires people who live on county maintained roadways and who have brick and mortar enclosures around their mailboxes to get rid of them and replace them with plastic and/or lightweight sheet metal ‘break-away’ mailboxes.
The ordinance was passed on December 3rd, after the county had already taken down the bricked-in mailbox of retired teacher Mark Fredrick.
Fredrick says he just completed his ornate bricked-in mailbox in September.
It was lit using “bullet-proof” glass block with lights inside and had it wired with an electrical outlet.
“There’s over a thousand bucks, 50-cents a brick there 32 dollars glass block the electrical wiring, underground cable it was $300 for the copper wire to get out here,” said Fredrick.
The county calls mailboxes like Fredrick’s a hazard to the motoring public, referring to Ohio Revised Code.
Their ordinance says such structures can be deemed an obstruction and ‘shall be removed’ in accordance with state law.
“If a vehicle hits the mailbox the mailbox can generate like a projectile off of the mailbox especially like masonry or steel boxes those things can like go through a windshield, so that is why there have been national standards developed probably over the last 30 years that say mailboxes should be breakaway,” said Medina County Engineer Mike Salay.
Fredrick says he was given five days to remove his creation, and when he wasn’t able to do that the county did it and billed him for the work.
“It was ten guys and six trucks to move one mailbox, that is quite an operation,” said Fredrick.
Fredrick says he is not as upset about the ordinance as he is that so far he seems to be the only one for whom it has been enforced.
Salay says the ordinance has to be universal, but he isn’t sure yet how the county will go about enforcing it.
“That will be up to my office and the county commissioners to determine, moving forward, mailboxes, certainly any new construction would conform to these standards existing mailboxes there are several ways we can approach that,” said Salay.
The county engineer says the ordinance that Medina County passed closely mirrors ordinances already adopted in other counties.
“I don’t think most people realize that if they put something in the roadway that is hazardous to the motoring public they are assuming some pretty severe liability for that too,” said Salay, adding “I don’t think too many people think about that. Their objective is to put something out there that cant be destroyed well that may be the case but it could cause damage or injury to somebody else.”