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Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 -- 1:27 PM

Letter carriers may be able to get you your mail through sleet, rain and snow, but only if your mailbox is in good shape.

This is Mailbox Improvement Week.

Acting Neillsville Postmaster Lisa Schilling says most people do a good job keeping up their boxes, but some problems are common.

"Say a flag doesn't work properly or is broke off, the letter carrier doesn't know if the person has outgoing mail. A lot of covers, over time, get shifty and they don't want to close properly," Schilling explains.

Winter snowplows can also reek havoc.

"They're looking pretty rough in the spring, so we like to address it early so they can be good the rest of the year until winter again."

If your mailbox is in a state of disrepair, you'll get a "40-56" form in your mailbox. The form will tell you what you need to do to bring your box into compliance.

"We'll usually give you a timeline of when we would like that fixed. If the (problems) aren't corrected, we begin holding your mail here until they are corrected, and then your service would start again," Schilling says.

Mailboxes must be between 40"-46" from the ground to bottom of box. Contact your local post office for more information.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.