Full mail service to the Dugan Best area of West Seventh, West Eighth, West Ninth, West 10th, Omega and Hocker streets as well as Regina Court has been restored as of Thursday.
On Dec. 27, the U.S. Postal Service in Owensboro sent a letter to residents of the area that mail would be suspended until residents installed mailboxes at the end of their yards by the street.
The reason for the suspension of service was due to reports from postal workers that carriers were being attacked by dogs. The letter stated that all mail would be held at the post office until mailboxes were installed to ensure the safety of mail carriers.
The mandate was a surprise to Daviess County officials, who were informed by community members, said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.
"This is an older neighborhood and these folks still do their business through mail,” he said. “They were taken aback without any notification that the post office stopped delivery.”
As soon as county officials were informed of the suspension, they contacted the post office to set up a meeting. The meeting involved post office leadership, Mattingly, Daviess County Animal Control Director Ashley Thompson and Owensboro City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright.
Mattingly and Thompson spent several days following the meeting accompanying mail carriers on the route to get a better idea of the extent of the postal service’s claim, said Thompson.
The meeting and neighborhood walks ultimately yielded positive results with service being restored after all organizations involved were able to come up with a solution that addressed the issue, Mattingly said.
“My takeaway is that the post office did not follow the procedures that they should have,” he said. “I asked Ashley (Thompson) to give a card to the postmaster so he could give it the employees with animal control’s number. I don’t think the problem should be brought to our attention by a community member informing us that they aren’t getting mail. The problem should have been brought to us by the postal service.”
Moving forward, members of the postal service, as well as community members, are encouraged, if they see a dog chasing people or running around unintended to call animal control, Owensboro Police Department or the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department or 911, Mattingly said.
“We were not able to find consistent reports from carriers to animal control, OPD, 911 or the sheriff’s department,” he said. “We are absolutely committed to the safety of our postal carriers and being there for them, but we can’t address an issue that we don’t see or know about. Simply put, the solution is to take advantage of the resources that are available to the neighborhood and carriers through the city and county.”
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, firstname.lastname@example.org