Road conditions in a private Mill Spring community threaten home mail delivery
Published 12:27 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023
Silver Creek Community residents receive letters from Columbus Postmaster
MILL SPRING–According to letters from the Columbus Post Office, residents in the Silver Creek Community will no longer receive mail delivery to their homes due to poor road conditions, unless repairs are made.
On March 21, Postmaster Janee Forney sent a letter to residents in the community stating that mail service to residents’ homes will cease because the conditions of the roads constitute a safety hazard for mail delivery. The letter stated that a Neighborhood Delivery Collection Box Unit would be installed near the school bus stop area off Twin Rd., and that all mail would be held at the Columbus Post Office for pick-up until the installation was complete.
The Postal Service then sent a second letter on April 13, stating that residents have 30 days to get certain roads repaired before the situation is reevaluated.
This letter stated that if adequate improvements were not made to the listed roads, all residents on those roads would need to relocate their mailboxes down to the state-maintained road, adding that the Department of Transportation is not responsible for road maintenance within the community.
“Many residents in our community are low-income, and on disability and social security,” says resident Julie Hart of Kelly Ln. “Those who moved here after 2001 are suffering because of the disbandment of the Homeowners Association.”
Silver Creek Community was originally formed as Land of Lakes in the 1970s. A Homeowners Association created at that time to collect fees for road repairs was legally disbanded on August 16, 2001. Hart says the majority of residents were never notified.
Over time, due to a lack of funds for road repairs, many of the roads have become difficult to drive on due to poor conditions.
Hart says that she began seeking out grant money to help repair the roadways in September 2022, and was referred to Rusty Darnell of the Department of Transportation.
Darnell provided paperwork for requirements to have DOT take over the roads submitted, but Hart states that it is a long complicated process that no one in the community wanted to go through with, as there is no guarantee that DOT would accept the submissions.
She adds that the community didn’t really want the state to take the roads, only help to fix the worst parts so they could move forward with having the homeowners on individual roads be responsible for keeping them up.
Forney adds that in order for mail service to remain, all residents of the roads listed in the second letter must make necessary repairs and submit an agreement to maintain the roadways to the Columbus Post Office by May 12.
“This community just doesn’t have the funds to repair these roads,” Hart says. “I just want people to know what can happen if they allow a Homeowners Association to dissolve in a private community.”