During the winter months the Highway Department will occasionally receive calls regarding damage to mailboxes either from snow plows directly or from the force of snow being thrown by the plows. Remember, snowplows can burl hundreds of pounds of snow in one pass. If damage is, indeed, caused by snow removal, it is not done intentionally, but is an unfortunate consequence of snow removal. It is understood that mailboxes must be placed on the highway right-of-way; however, this does not grant people any legal rights in the highway when needed for highway purposes. According to New York State's Highway Law, when the necessities of keeping the highway open conflict with the reception of mail, the latter must stand aside. Under the law, a homeowner could even be required to remove the mailbox.
In the event that a box is damaged by the snow plow, the Highway Department will, as a courtesy, place a temporary box so that a resident can receive mail. Also, if the damage is excessive the Highway Department in the spring will replace the mailbox and post if necessary with a Town issued box and post. Any decorative, expensive, or otherwise extraordinary mailboxes should be removed during the winter months and temporarily replaced with a simple metal or plastic box mounted directly on top of a treat 4 x 4 post. The Town will NOT replace any fancy mailboxes, posts or paper boxes of any kind.
When installing mailboxes use diagram to left to minimize the chance of damage to your mailbox