MOUNT VERNON — While many print subscribers have asked that their carriers place the Mount Vernon News print edition directly in their mailboxes, carriers are unlikely to start that practice anytime soon because of laws dictating letter box usage.
Mailboxes are only for parcels that have paid postage, regional spokesman for the United States Postal Service David Van Allen said. A mailbox “established, approved or accepted by the Postal service for the receipt or delivery of mail matter,” as stated in the United States Code is only to be used by residents of the home and U.S.P.S. workers, Van Allen explained. Were News carriers to “knowingly” and “willfully” utilize the mailboxes for News delivery, without paying for postage, a fine of “not more than … $10,000 per organization” could be charged to the News for each offense, according to the United States Code. This is why many papers, including the News, offer separate delivery boxes, Van Allen noted.
News Circulation Manager Michelle Hartman explained that it is illegal for News carriers to open a mailbox for delivery. Some mailboxes have open slots below the box in which the paper and MIDS bag can be placed for subscribers that do not want to get a green Mount Vernon News tube. Carriers are allowed to hang MIDS bags on hooks or nails on the mailbox post but News bags, lacking a hole created specifically for hanging, are more difficult to hang in the same manner, according to Hartman. She also explained that hanging up News bags can result in the paper falling to the ground.
“We’re trying to please our customers but we legally cannot open their mailbox and put the paper inside,” Hartman said. “That’s why we have our green Mount Vernon News motor route boxes. Those keep the paper from getting rain or snow or anything on them.”
While some customers do receive the paper by mail, Hartman explained that this is a more expensive option than a delivery route and is unreliable for same day delivery.
For customers outside of the delivery range who wish to receive the paper daily, an e-edition is available online at http://mountvernonnews.oh.newsmemory.com.