BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- The first thing you notice about SW 9th Terrace in Blue Springs is the less-than-attractive mailbox in front most of the homes. The boxes, stuck on stakes, are propped up in big plastic buckets like the kind you get from Home Depot for painting. Neighbors here say they've been living with these eyesores for five years.
They have no choice. If they dig a hole in their front yard and put the mailbox in the ground, they'll be in violation with the US Postal Service, which won't deliver their mail according to neighbor David Brush.
The problem is that the subdivision wasn't supposed to have door-to-door mail delivery. Mail was supposed to be dropped off at a centrally located cluster box.
But unlike most of the other streets in this subdivision, SW 9th Terrace never got a cluster box. It was the first street built in the development and the developer went bankrupt without taking care of the mailbox problem.
But instead of taking pity on the residents of SW 9th Terrace and letting them have door-to-door delivery with a permanent mail box, the Post Office keeps demanding residents hang on to the temporary ones while it waits for some unnamed White Knight to solve this problem, and build a concrete pad where a cluster box can be installed. So far, no White Knight has stepped forth.
Living with a temporary mail box can be a drag when the wind blows, which happens a lot. Neighbors say the buckets blow over, taking the mail boxes with them, which can be hard on the mailbox and the mail.
"We've found things in that field before," said Brush, whose mailbox is so dented it is difficult to even keep closed.
Neighbor Gilberto Jaime has given up waiting for a solution. Last week he finally took his box out of the bucket and buried it in the ground. Now he's waiting to see whether the post office will make good on its threat to stop delivery.
Another neighbor has tried to outsmart the post office by burying both his post box and the bucket it's sitting in (so that technically he wouldn't be in violation).
Others keep contacting the post office hoping for a postal-approved way of solving this problem.
"All we get is a lot of none response or `we'll get back to you,'" said Brush, shaking his head.
"We like the neighborhood," he said. "We like where we live. Why should we be forced to move just because we can't get mail service? It's bad enough we can't get pizza here. "
FOX 4 Problem Solvers called the US Postal Service and spokeswoman Tawana Barber sympathized with the plight of those living on SW 9th Terrace and promised to look into it.
A few hours later, FOX 4 got a call back saying the US Post Office had solved the problem by reaching out to one of the several home builders in the development who has agreed to foot the expense of building a concrete pad so that US Postal Service could finally install that cluster box and put an end to five years of frustration.
So far there's no deadline as to when that will happen, but FOX 4 Problem Solvers will keep checking to make sure this problem finally gets solved.
By the way, there's more good news. The subdivision has also started getting pizza delivery from Casey's. Prior to Casey's, neighbors were stuck in a no-pizza home delivery zone.