The accidental cost of plowing

Each year plows in eastern Iowa hit dozens of mailboxes, cars, and more.

If it happens to you, the city or county will pay damages.

It does not seem to matter which metro area you live in, if there are city plows where you live there is a good chance officials in that community have also received reports from residents of mailboxes that have been hit.

KCRG-TV9 found that records show in Dubuque, over the last year, they have only had one instance of a snow plow hitting a mailbox.

The biggest issue in Dubuque concerning snowplow related property damage is trucks hitting parked cars, which cost the city $12,000 in 2018 alone.

In Iowa City, Streets and Traffic Engineering Assistant Superintendent John Sobaski reports their Street Division averages hitting around ten mailboxes a year. Like in Dubuque, liability claims are costlier, which cost the city $10,296 last year.

Cedar Rapids public works paid out only $6,000 in damages in 2018 but mailboxes are a bigger target. City plows have hit 16 mailboxes already this winter after taking out 58 last fiscal year.

In all three cities if a plow hits your mailbox or car or even digs up your grass, you can file a complaint with the public works office. If the plow was at fault the city will pay at least some of the costs to fix it.