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Residents get mail again after agreement

Delivery stopped for almost 2 weeks after dog incidents

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Diane Jenkins and her neighbors in the Bel-Aire Mobile Home Park went almost two weeks without receiving mail.

THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
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Letters, bills, subscriptions, and junk mail stuck out of mailboxes in the Bel-Air Mobile Home Park on Nebraska Avenue again Thursday, almost two weeks after an incident over a dog stopped the delivery of the mail.

The U.S. Postal Service resumed mail delivery after reaching a resolution with the 124-unit mobile home park, said David Van Allen, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Residents had been told to pick up their mail at the post office on St. Clair Street.

Mr. Van Allen said incidents involving a resident of the trailer park and his dog started in mid-September.

“The carrier finally asked the customer to keep his dog out of sight when she delivered or to put the dog on a stronger chain, because the dog had been behaving in an increasingly aggressive and threatening manner. The customer was uncooperative about properly restraining his animal, even after the acting postmaster talked with the customer about the situation,” Mr. Van Allen said.

He said mail delivery was curtailed on Oct. 31 because no solution could be found. Even now, delivery could be interrupted, he said.

Park resident Diane Jenkins, 56, said the nearly two-week interruption in mail delivery was hard on her because she did not have a car to drive to the post office downtown.

“They could have delivered it to everyone else but him,” Ms. Jenkins said. Pointing to the trailer of the man who allegedly caused the problem, she said, “he still has the dog, which has been kept pretty quiet.”

A reporter knocked on the door of the home. A dog was heard barking inside but no one came to the door.

John Flask, managing partner of Cleveland-area Jaftak Realty, which owns the Bel-Aire Mobile Home Park at 3019 Nebraska Ave., said the community suffered because of the actions of one household.

He said the residents with the dog were sent a notice to stop the offending behavior within 30 days or face eviction from the park.

“They realized they screwed up. Unfortunately, everybody had to pay the price,” Mr. Flask said.

He said the Postal Service initially offered to install a cluster box to simplify mail delivery, but then withdrew the offer.

Mr. Flask said the offer was withdrawn because a resident of the park complained to the news media. Mr. Van Allen denied that was the case.

He said the cluster boxes were initially suggested, but then determined to be not economically feasible. When that option was discarded, the acting postmaster decided to resume mail delivery “to as much of the trailer park as was possible.

“Mail delivery is still being curtailed for the dog owner and, on a day-by-day basis, mail delivery may be curtailed for his immediate neighbors. Trailer park management is working with the Postal Service to ensuring a longterm solution,” he said.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058 or on Twitter @TomFTroy.

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