COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The tenants at Southside Apartments in Columbus will soon have to purchase a P.O. Box, or find an alternate mailing address because of issues with the post office.
It’s a challenge with federal implications that Alton Kuykendall has been dealing with for the last four decades as the owner of Southside Apartments.
“Every time someone broke into a mailbox, they’d move away, lose their key, throw their key away. Whatever happened to the key, I don’t know," he said. “They’d come back and break the lid and open or pry the box open to get their mail out. Well we had to repair that or fix that.”
Kuykendall said after so many years of issues with the mailboxes at these apartments on the corner of Cusseta Road and Southside Court, he chose to put thumb-locks on the boxes instead of traditional key locks.
“The postal carrier came out and told us he would not deliver mail unless the mailbox had a locking lock on it, a key in other words that locked the mailbox---and he didn’t," Kuykendall said. "He stopped delivering mail.”
Cleveland Baker Jr. has lived at the apartments for four years. He was confused by mailboxes having key locks, but now that the apartment complex owner is taking away the cluster mailboxes, tenants are left to purchase a P.O. Box or find an alternate mailing address.
“Well, I ain’t worried about nobody stealing nothing," Baker said. "I’ve been here four years. I haven’t had nothing stolen.”
“I have to travel," Baker said. "I have to pay someone $10, $15, $20 to go all the way out there on Milgen Road to pickup my mail. It’s very much an inconvenience for me since I don’t have a car.”
“Right now I can’t afford it,” Baker said,
But Kuykendall said this notice shouldn’t come as a shock. “I put in my application before anyone rents from me here that they need to get a permanent address or get a post office box."
On the application it reads “when renting an apartment at the Southside Court location, you should consider getting your own P.O. Box for mail delivery, or using a close relative’s permanent address for your mail.”
P.O. Boxes range in size and how long people use them, but if you wanted a small P.O. Box for one year, that would come out to a little more than $11 per month according to the USPS website. But if you wanted an extra large P.O. Box for just three months it would cost you almost $50 per month.
Residents have until Feb. 28 to find a new place for their mail or purchase a P.O. Box.