For nearly a week now, an Azle man hasn't had any mail delivered to his home and he wanted to know why. Turns out the post office thinks his house is too dangerous to deliver to. Now he's ready to fight.
It's been a frustrating walk to the mailbox for the past week.
"No mail," said Glenda Matlock. "No mail again," added her husband Johnny Wayne Matlock.
No mail since a new postal delivery driver popped a tire when she pulled onto the grass and hit the Matlocks’ “sprinkler protection system.”
"When people are driving down the street not paying attention, they run over the sprinkler heads," said Mr. Matlock. "So I put the rebar there as sprinkler-head protectors with the caps on them so that they'd be noticeable."
He even put a note inside the mailbox.
"It says postman, do not drive on the grass, damage to the sprinkler heads or to tires can occur. Thanks."
Mr. Matlock said they've been here more than three years with no past problems.
"Even our mailman who's been here for two years, he's never had a problem,” Mrs. Matlock said. “He's never hit one of them."
But after the new delivery driver hit one, the post office manager said the stakes were a safety hazard and they wouldn't drop off mail to the house until the couple pulled them out.
"I told her I said you know I'm not going to sit still about this. I'm going to tell God on you first and then I decided I'd go another step and get Channel 5 to take a look at it also," Mr. Matlock said.
He added that a manager told him the mailbox was too far away from the street for postal workers to pull over safely without hitting the rebar stakes. It's about 16 inches from the mailbox to the edge of the road, and Mr. Matlock points out it would be the same distance if there were a curb at the edge of the yard.
"You’re telling me if your driver bent a wheel on a curb you'd stop delivering my mail?" Mr. Matlock said.
For now the Matlocks have to drive to the nearest post office a mile and a half away to pick up their mail. There was a thick stack waiting for them before they realized the problem.
"If I get a bill in today, I write a check today," Mr. Matlock said.
Call it the principal of the thing, Mr. Matlock has no plans to pull up the stakes and no intention of letting this go.
"I'm going to conquer this deal one way or the other," he said.
A US Postal Service Spokesperson sent the following statement:
“The Postal Service is committed to providing quality service to our customers, as long as we can do so safely and efficiently. In this specific instance, local postal management determined that, due to safety concerns, mail delivery could not be made safely to the address in question. Mail and packages for this residence will be available for pick-up at the local Azle Post Office during regular business hours. All items will be secured until they can be picked up by the customer. The Postal Service is willing to work with the customer to find a solution that is satisfactory for both parties. We appreciate our customers' patience as move forward to successfully resolve their concerns.”