By Susie Stern, Communications Consultant — It is official. The 3-member ECC HOA Board unanimously has decided against pursuing the installation of cluster mailboxes within our neighborhood. Residents overwhelmingly have expressed a lack of interest, cited the exorbitant cost, and mentioned the inconvenience especially to people who are disabled and senior citizens, among other factors that helped the Board reach its final decision.
That said, should a block of neighbors (8 and up) opt to pursue, all would have to agree, and the person who spearheads the effort would need to directly work with and receive final plan approval from a U.S Postal Service manager and the HOA, as well as acknowledge that installation and maintenance of said cluster mailboxes would be the sole financial responsibility of residents on the block.
The cluster mailbox topic came about after a rash of Elk Creek Crossing (Walnut Ridge subdivision impacted, too) mailbox thefts on Christmas Eve 2016, considered an isolated incident.
Not endorsing any particular brand, Omaha Police Captain Marcia West suggests people consider purchasing a decent quality outdoor camera, like Ring Wireless. This same brand, and the video footage it produced, helped detectives arrest a man accused of a widespread home burglary spree in the Omaha metro. West said no arrests were made in the ECC/Walnut Ridge thefts.
Ring Wireless is a WiFi-enabled video camera intercom doorbell that can be hard-wired into your existing doorbell area. When Ring detects motion outdoors in zone areas you set, it sends an alert to your smart phone via a free app. You can view the footage live.
You can answer your doorbell when away from home, too – making it look like you are inside. For $30 a year, videos are stored in a cloud. The camera/ costs around $200, or around $135 during Black Friday 2016.