Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, August 17, 1998

LP council sets mailbox guidelines; dog issue revisited

By JANE OTTO

If you're planning to get your mail at the end of your drive versus going to post office on Juniper Street, be advised there is a policy in effect for any future mailboxes.

The Lester Prairie City Council adopted a roadside mailbox policy, that coincides with the McLeod County guidelines at its meeting last Monday.

At its July 13 meeting, Postmaster Arlys Hartwig informed the council that residents in town who are on the mail carrier's route can put up a mailbox.

Mailboxes are already beginning to sprout up on the delivery routes. Box placement and snow removal could be potential problems for both mail carriers and snowplows.

Council member Stan Erhke said he would like to say prohibit roadside mailboxes in town, but at least, "we should put some regulations on them."

"If the (federal) government okays this, then we can't say no," said Council member Larry Peterson.

The policy will apply to any future mailboxes on the carrier's route.

Mailbox guidelines

If you're one of those residents on the Lester Prairie mail carrier's route and thinking of installing a mail box, here's the guidelines the City of Lester Prairie has established:

  • The mailbox support and box must be a minimum of one foot behind the face of the curb.
  • The city or county is not responsible for damage to mailboxes hit by snow or ice thrown by snowplowing equipment.
  • The city or county will plow the snow the best it can, but it is the owner's responsibility to make the mail box accessible for the delivery person.
  • The city or county will replace any box that has been damaged by plowing equipment, such as being cut, bent, or has paint on it from the snow plow.
  • Before any digging, the owner should call Gopher State One Call at 800-252-1166.

Woof, woof, aarrrrgh!

Lester Prairie resident Linda Bondhus said the council didn't follow Robert's Rules of Order in amending a resolution at its July 6 special meeting.

That meeting addressed the issue of Bruce and Deborah Lutgen's dog who had bitten Linda Bondhus's son about two years ago. Bondhus requested the dog be destroyed, but the council gave the dog and owner another chance.

An existing resolution was amended and required that the dog be muzzled, restrained, and supervised when outdoors or in a locked kennel, which the Lutgens had to construct within seven days of the meeting. If the Lutgens failed to adhere to those conditions, the dog would be euthanized.

In response to Bondhus's complaint, City Attorney Kerry Olson said that the council does need to observe Robert's Rules of Order unless it adopts an ordinance to do so.

The resolution issue was sidetracked when resident Jeff Hecksel said the dog was loose and bit another child since the July 6 meeting.

It was brought out, though, that an officer visited the child's mother but a police report was not filed.

From that point on, emotions rose steadily as statements and accusations bounced back and forth between the Bondhuses, Hecksels, and Lutgens.

Mayor Ed Mylnar said there will be no more discussion and that the council has 60 days to reply to this issue. He said it will be on the Sept. 8 agenda.

The banter continued which prompted Mylnar to respond, "This meeting will recess, until there is order."

The Bondhuses, Hecksels, and Lutgens left the council room and the meeting continued after a short recess.

Later in the meeting, the council addressed this item again. Hochstein suggested that the police investigate the alleged dog-bite incident to determine if it is a violation of the resolution.

According to the resolution, if the incident is a violation, the dog will be destroyed.


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