Published February 8, 2023

Ward County to Send Notices to Non-compliant Mailbox Owners   

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
A mailbox in Ward County. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
A mailbox in Ward County. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

County Commissioners Discuss Safety 


MINOT – The Ward County Commissioners voted Tuesday to retroactively enforce its regulations on mailboxes. 

Dana Larsen, Ward County engineer, said the issue was brought up when a Ward County resident recently installed a large rock mailbox that was close to the road. When the county notified the resident to remove the obstruction, the resident complied, but pointed out other mailboxes that do not meet the regulatory standards of both Ward County and the Postal Service. 

There are several requirements for a mailbox, and Larsen told The Dakotan the regulations are meant for safety, so if a driver or cyclists hits the mailbox, the crash will not be fatal. Essentially, he said, mailboxes should be breakable, and built so the top will not fly on the person who crashes into it. The regulations have been in place since 1989. 

“I don’t know why these weren’t addressed way back when,” said Larsen. “If the county went through and made those corrections, and then over time, additional mailboxes were put in and the county didn’t address it. In the last ten years, we’ve tried to address it as they’ve been put in.” 

Larsen said there will probably be over 60 property owners in Ward County who will receive notices about their mailboxes. Most will probably be easy fixes, while others may cost hundreds of dollars for removal. The county may need to pay for the removal of a mailbox, but not the replacement. 

Property owners will be given until July 15 to make their mailboxes meet the regulatory standards. 

The motion passed with Commissioners Jason Olson and Howard Anderson voting no. Olson mentioned his reason for voting no was because he wished the deadline remained at June 15, which is what Larsen initially recommended. 

“If an accident happened after June 15 but before we’d set our new deadline, it could have been a preventable accident at that point,” said Olson. 

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