Merrill Fire Department off-duty personnel were out last week installing new mailboxes and fire numbers for area residents who were in need of mailboxes after the tornado had swept their box away or had damaged the old one beyond repair.
Firefighter Brad Byer spearheaded the project, along with assistance from Town of Merrill board member Stacy Pettit. Many of the mailboxes and fire numbers were from the hardest hit areas of the tornado, located in the town of Merrill. Stacy was able to compile a list of needy recipients for the fire department and firefighter Byer took over the project from there. Mailboxes had to be ordered and purchased which they were at a reduced rate from Merrill’s Ace Hardware, a donation from the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce picked up the cost for all the mailboxes. Fillmore Metal Crafters from Merrill created the uniquely designed fire numbers that were placed on each mailbox, at a reduced rate and Evan Koshak from Tomahawk Builders Supply provided treated wooden 4×4 posts used to support the mailbox. Trantow’s rental center donated the use of a power auger for the firefighters to use to drill the holes needed to sink the posts and Peterson Sand and Gravel donated material used to fill each hole helping to keep the mailboxes in place for years to come.
The firefighters recognized the need for many affected area residents and came up with the idea of the mailboxes to help area residents with their rebuilding efforts, but the firefighters also know the difficulties they can encounter when called for emergency services to an address, yet when they arrive it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly due to no signage or fire number at the property. So in reality the project has added benefit for not only the residents that need to have a place to receive their mail, but allows emergency services an easier time at locating the residence should the need arise in the future.
Even though it has now been a couple of months since the destructive tornado swept through the Merrill area and many residents and businesses are back on their feet, others still struggle and will need continued assistance, yet it is very apparent that the community continues to pull together, as is evidenced by all those that came together to assist in this project.