Starke County Highway Department Receives Damage Complaints after Recent Snow Storm

Steve Siddall

Starke County Highway Superintendent, Steve Siddall, appeared before the County Commissioners Monday. One item on Siddall’s agenda was the number of mailbox complaints he has received. He said well over 100 people have complained about mailbox damage. Siddall said it could not be helped during the snowstorms. Most of the damage was from the heavy snow hitting the boxes. Siddall told the Commissioners that he checked with Marshall County and they do not respond to such calls. It’s basically the homeowner’s responsibility to repair the post and box. INDOT also does not repair or replace mailboxes.

On another topic, Siddall said that there is probably going to be a problem with fences at Bass and Koontz Lakes when they start rolling the snow back. The right of way is 40 to 60 feet, and Siddall said there are a number of fences that will probably be damaged because they’re too close.

“In our right-of-ways, yes we are encroaching on people’s yards, but we still own that right-of-way,” explained Siddall. “Where we’re having the biggest trouble or concern is at Bass Lake and Koontz Lake where we can’t stack it any higher and I informed the Commissioners that we might be coming through there with a grader. What we do is what we call benching. If there’s two feet of snow, we may roll a foot of that back so when the snow plow truck comes back through in another big snow event, we have room to put it. Otherwise, it just keeps piling up and we have nowhere to go with it. Another concern was fences or trinkets left in people’s yards that we can’t see. I told the Commissioners that we weren’t going in with a bulldozer and trying to clear property, we were trying not to damage anything.”

Newsman Ted Hayes complimented Siddall on the performance of the highway crew over the winter storm, and he also praised his staff.

“I feel the guys did an excellent job,” replied Siddall. “We have an excellent crew out at the County Highway and I want to give them thanks. I know Scott and Sue and everybody that works out there that are in the offices that weren’t out there battling the elements did a great job. The guys did a wonderful job.”