Residents get answers after going months without a mailbox in Chesapeake

10 On Your Side

UPDATE Dec. 30, 2021: 10 On Your Side success: Neighbors say the mailboxes have been reinstalled on a new post.


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Francina Harrison didn’t pay much mind to the rusted, fallen-over community mailbox at the end of her father, Jonathan Goode’s, driveway.

“I didn’t think it was his, he hadn’t said anything,” she told 10 On Your Side, months after noticing the mailbox.

One day, it came out in conversation the mailbox did carry her father’s mail inside, as well as letters for about a dozen other households. Goode told his daughter the community mail post fell over back in August and still hadn’t been fixed.

“It’s been rusting at the base for a long time and I think one day, one windy day, just blew it over and that was it,” said neighbor Daniel Brown.

Goode learned through word of mouth from Brown that residents could pick up their mail from a United States Postal Service sorting center up the road between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

“It’s very inconvenient; there are senior citizens on this block,” explained Goode. “I don’t know how they get their mail. I can’t speak for anyone, but I know that it was a pain for me.”

“I know other people leave really early to go to work at the shipyard,” added Brown. “I hear them leave and I know they’ve totally missed the opportunity to get their mail.”

At several points, neighbors told WAVY News that people tried to take the mailbox themselves to the post office, but were stopped by residents who thought mail may still be inside. Kids waiting for buses were also reportedly seen playing with the box despite its sharp, rusted edges.

This went on for nearly five months, but once Harrison reached out 10 On Your Side, the neighborhood started seeing results.

Now, just a week later, residents are learned that a new box should be installed by next week.

10 On Your Side learned from a USPS spokesperson that cluster box units (CBUs) are typically the responsibility of the property owner, property management company or neighborhood association to install, maintain and repair.

The USPS exists as an independent establishment of the executive branch of the U.S. government. They receive no tax dollars for operating expenses and rely on postage sales, products and services to fund their operations.

It would likely not be feasible for the postal service to offer this kind of assistance to every community whose CBU needs to be replaced.

Experts recommend customers know who is responsible for their CBU, whether it be their HOA or property manager before a repair is needed.

We were told by that same representative that USPS would take care of the Meadows Landing unit as a convenience to customers in the community.

In the full statement to 10 On Your Side, USPS representative Philip Bogenberger says:

“The security and sanctity of the mail is a priority for the Postal Service, and mail cannot be delivered if the cluster box units (CBUs) are in disrepair. While it is generally the responsibility of the property owner, property management company or neighborhood association to install, maintain and repair the CBUs, the Postal Service is offering to fix them in this instance as a convenience to Meadows Landing customers. A work order has been placed and repairs will begin soon.”

Neighbors say, either way, they’re anxious for results.

“It was long enough, I think we’ve been patient quite a bit of time since August,” expressed Goode. “Now, it looks like we’re finally going to get results, and again, I appreciate the work of WAVY 10.”

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this story and others.

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