Just before Christmas, almost three years ago, businesswoman Po Lin Lee from Hong Kong set up a bright red 9.5-meter-high mailbox at Sjøområdet.
She got permission from Longyearbyen's municipal government to keep the mailbox there for two years. Lee sought to extend the agreement last November and was told by the city she had to notify neighbors of her intentions before the matter would be considered.
The city never received a completed application. A letter was sent to Lee on Aug. 23 stating the city had considered the matter and the deadline would not be extended. The city gave her until Sept. 30 to remove the mailbox.
On Sept.. 7, another letter was sent by the city declaring a 500-kroner-per-day fine would be imposed after the deadline.
The city requested a reply by Sept. 23, but has not yet received one.
Taking the matter further
Furthermore, the city informed Lee that even if she had summited a completed application it was unlikely her permit would be extended because she is not conducting business properly on the property. Postal officials have also complained people are dropping real mail into the box and it often takes Lee many months to empty the box and bring the letters to the post office.
Tone Sandnesaunet, an attorney for the city, declared in a written statement to Svalbardposten that the city will pursue the matter further in a short time.
Attempts by Svalbardposten to contact Lee by phone and e-mail have been unsuccessful.
Translated by Mark Sabbatini.