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Blacksburg mailboxes moved without neighbors permission

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 06:39:58 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 06:40:34 PM EDT

We are at the corner or Merrimac and Totem Lane. The mailboxes used to be over there, now there about 100 feet further down the road, just before an ugly turn.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -

Some people in Blacksburg say a construction company moved their mailboxes without their permission.

Ten mailboxes in all were moved on Saturday according to T.J. Maloney, who's lived at the corner of Merrimac and Totem Lane for nearly 30 years.

"Yes I'm mad' said Maloney, "mainly because [construction workers] moved them without asking, second they put them in a dangerous spot."

Those construction crews are building affordable housing on sixty acres across the street from the now-moved mailboxes.

I walked over to the construction trailer and asked to speak with the on-site supervisor. A man walked up to me and asked what I needed. I told him that neighbors said his crews had moved their mailboxes without asking. The man nodded his head but said nothing. I told him that the Postmaster said his office did not ask the construction company to move those mailboxes.

At that time, another man walked over to me and asked why I'm asking these questions. I told him I was a reporter and that neighbors had reached out to me find out what had happened. That's when the second man smiled, shrugged his shoulders and told me to leave and "have a nice day."

Those ten mailboxes were moved about 100 feet down the road, by construction crews that cemented in the 4 by 4 posts just before a dangerous turn. Maloney stood in the sun, looking at her white mailbox on the other side of the road.

"I haven't been down there because it's too dangerous to go down there to even pick up the mail," Maloney said.

Nearly 400 affordable housing apartments are being built on more than sixty acres, part of Blacksburg's affordable housing push.

Maloney refused to get her mail, so I walked over and got it for her, but kept looking back because there really isn't any room for mistakes. I yelled when I got to the plank of mailboxes and pointed to a white one, "Is this you?," I asked. ''The white one yes',"said Maloney, "look in there and see if I got any mail!"

A short while later, the mail lady drove up and stopped right in front of our camera, slowly sorting the right mail for the right mailbox. I asked her about the new spot for the mailboxes.

From the right side of the mail truck, the letter carrier said she had no control over where the mailboxes end up. I then asked if she thought it was dangerous for folks to cross the street to get their mail, "I mean you have the protection of your truck but these folks have to cross the street around what's a pretty ugly curve here."

The carrier looked at me and said, ''Yeah, but I don't control where they put the boxes. I know a lot of the customers think I told [construction workers] to put it here, but I did not."

I spoke with the U.S. Postmaster, he said no one from the postal service ever asked the construction company to move anyone's mailbox. He also said he would send a safety team to look at the problem and come up with a solution that kept neighbors safe.