HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Elderly homeowners and their caregivers in the new Trailhead subdivision are at a complete loss because they haven’t received mail since October.
Hal Bullard, who takes care of his mother, told News 19 that he’s had no communication from anyone about the issue.
“It’s just ridiculous, and I don’t know what else to do so I’m at a loss,” said Bullard. “I’ve done everything that I know how to do. I’ve talked to the builders, I’ve talked to the post office, I’ve emailed our congressman and emailed the senator and have heard nothing back from any of them.”
Bullard says they purchased the home 6 months ago and have yet to receive any mail that is crucial to his mother’s care. Bullard’s mother is 85 years old and uses a walker.
“We get things from the doctors, and we get insurance stuff all of the time for her,” Bullard said. “Plus, not to mention the basic bills that come to the house. We just need to mail.”
Bullard said the main problem is that the Mastin Lake post office has not offered a valid answer to the issue. Legacy Homes, the builder of the subdivision, has done little to communicate with a solution for the six homeowners on Bridgedale Street.
The U.S. Postal Service issued a policy to builders to replace the standard mailboxes with cluster mailboxes like those in nearby Chase Creek. The transition according to Breland Homes president Joey Ceci has been a near disaster.
“When USPS comes in at the end when everything is built, and properties are sold it’s hard to go and find a piece of land that’s kind of community property to put up cluster mailbox,” Ceci explained.
Bullard and the homeowners at the Trailhead subdivision are at a complete loss. Bullard said that they would welcome any communication with Legacy Homes who have refused comment on the mail delay.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released a statement about the issue:
“The Postal Service is proud to continue its vital role in today’s changing mail environment. We are directed by statute to provide reliable and efficient service. One way we do that is through use of centralized delivery, utilizing Neighborhood Delivery Cluster Box Units (NDCBUs) as the preferred method of delivery, with rare exception, for all new residential and commercial developments. NDCBUs have the advantage of being “package friendly,” in that they are designed to accommodate most packages delivered through the U.S. mail.
The U.S. Postal Service’s approval of central delivery as the preferred mode of delivery with rare exception has been successfully implemented nationwide in new residential and commercial developments since 2012. Developers and builders request mode of delivery approval early in the planning stage of new developments and work with local postal managers in determining the most efficient location for installation of the new central delivery equipment. Postal customers have historically been responsible for the costs associated with the installation and maintenance of mailboxes, with developers and builders routinely purchasing and installing the new CBU equipment on land that they have dedicated within the development or new area of development. The Postal Service’s District Office reviews the developer’s/builder’s recommendation for the placement of the NDCBUs and provides the final site approval. The customers’ new central delivery mail service will begin at the earliest possible date.
In this instance, local management is aware of the matter and will continue working with stakeholders to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers living in the Mastic Lake and Trailhead subdivisions. In accordance with postal regulations, we continue to hold all mail and packages securely at the local Post Office, which residents can pick up at their convenience. We will continue to provide this service for a limited time governed by the builder’s best business efforts to expedite installation of the central delivery equipment.”Debra Jean Fetterly, U.S. Postal Service Spokesperson, Alabama-Mississippi District
The USPS said that customers with concerns about their mail delivery can also call their Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-ASK-USPS or 1-800-275-8777.