Windsor updated its reimbursement policy for mailboxes damaged or destroyed by village snowplows.

The Village Board made the unanimous decision during its June 20 regular meeting after lengthy discussion. According to the updated ordinance, the village will pay $100 for the damaged property. Residents must inform the village within 72 hours of the damage.

Owners are responsible for installation, and board members said they believe the $100 is adequate to cover both the installation and the purchase of a new box.

Board members discussed the merits of having village workers conduct the installation of new boxes, but staffers said the $100 financial repayment is well above the policies of many other local municipalities.

Three of the nearest municipalities have similar ordinances in place. Waunakee will pay $50 for damaged mailboxes. Sun Prairie offers $100.

Village President Robert Wipperfurth said the village isn’t required to pay for damaged mail boxes because they’re generally placed in the village’s right-of-way.

“They’re there as a courtesy,” Wipperfurth said.

“They’re in the right-of-way, but it’s still damage by the village,” said Trustee Brad Mueller.

Wipperfurth asked how the village determines whether a mailbox was damaged by snowplowing or through another means. Public Works Director Davis Clark said there are generally tell-tale scratch patterns that reveal a mailbox damaged by a plow.

“Generally you can see a crease, but it’s sometimes hard to tell,” Clark said.

The ordinance states that residents are responsible for removing snow and ice at least 15 feet from their mailboxes within 24 hours of a snowfall event. Damage caused by snow being moved doesn’t qualify for the reimbursement – only mailboxes directly damaged by a plow blade or village vehicle are eligible for the $100.

If a mailbox is damaged, residents are required to alert Clark, or another village employee if Clark is on vacation or otherwise out of the office.

Wipperfurth asked how often mailboxes are damaged in Windsor.

According to Clark, somewhere around a dozen mailboxes are damaged or destroyed each winter.

The new ordinance is now in effect.

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