Post office disruptions continue to impact Summit County residents amid staffing shortages
As staffing issues continue to impact the U.S. Postal Service offices in Summit County, residents are experiencing more delays in getting their mail.
Window service at the Silverthorne office was closed Monday, Sept. 13, and Postal Service spokesperson James Boxrud said the agency sent two folks up from Denver to ensure it could open again Tuesday, Sept. 14. The window at the Dillon post office closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday, but Boxrud said it was just so the clerks could leave for lunch.
Boxrud said there is typically a checks and balances system so the Postal Service can move people around as needed to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible.
“We’ll continue to do that to get those stations operating — if not full staff, at least open full hours — and they can keep up on the mail and the packages,” Boxrud said.
Boxrud added that a clerk from Breckenridge went up north to help out due to staffing shortages at the Silverthorne and Dillon locations. He said Summit County staff members often rotate between the four offices, including Frisco, as needed.
“Now hiring” signs are posted in the lawn outside the Silverthorne Post Office, and Boxrud said there are seven job postings for positions across Summit County post offices, all of which he said have received no applications. Two openings are for custodial positions, and five are for clerk positions.
“It’s definitely a tough one,” Boxrud said. “We continue to hire, and if people are interested in a position, we encourage them to go to USPS.com or talk to somebody at the local post offices. And they’ll give them a phone number to call, and they can get some assistance there.”
According to Boxrud, the average age of a post office employee is 53, and there is high turnover in the industry, as older workers look to move into retirement.
During the holidays last year, Boxrud said the Postal Service filled holiday positions and housed people in hotels in Summit County to ensure there was enough staffing to handle the increased volume of packages. He said staffing shortages have continued to impact Summit County post offices because it’s hard to find folks who can afford to live in the area.
This year, the post office will look to hire 450 people across Colorado to work about six to eight weeks during the holiday season. Boxrud said the Postal Service is also looking to get ahead of the holiday curve by investing in new processing equipment.
Marie Cosby, who lives in Silverthorne, said she hasn’t received mail at the Silverthorne post office in a week, causing stress because she is expecting important documents in the mail.
“Basically, I’m not getting any mail,” Cosby said. “I went up to the Dillon post office because my package for some reason got rerouted there instead of Silverthorne. And the lady told me that there’s two people for both post offices and told me to call the general manager for Colorado and Wyoming.”
Cosby also noted that she doesn’t want any blame placed on the two employees who have been working to keep both post offices running.
“I don’t want those two people to feel like they’re drowning and then quit and all of a sudden we have no one,” Cosby said.
Officials from the towns of Silverthorne and Dillon both said they did not have any additional information about post office closures or disruptions.
“We have received a number of inquiries here at Town Hall, so we are hopeful for some information from the post office that we can share with our community,” Silverthorne spokesperson Kim Jardim wrote in a text message.
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