Summit County, Silverthorne resident making headway with United States Postal Service
All four post office locations are struggling with severe labor shortages, limited supplies and delayed deliveries
Summit County officials, staff and community members are continuing to work with representatives from the United States Postal Service to mitigate issues at the county’s four post offices, but the process continues to be slow going.
Earlier this summer, Summit County elected officials, staff and town managers from Frisco, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Blue River and Dillon all signed a letter sent to representatives of the Postal Service declaring various challenges at the county’s four post office locations.
The letter also called on the Postal Service to remedy some of these issues. In a response from representative Donna Walker, it was stated that the Postal Service does not have the resources to handle these challenges.
During the Summit County Commissioners’ work session meeting Tuesday, Aug. 3, Summit County Manager Scott Vargo reported that county staff met with representatives from the Postal Service in Denver last week to discuss next steps.
During that meeting, Vargo said they discussed the idea of installing cluster-box mailboxes locally, but the representatives “were not very open to the idea.” In addition, Vargo said staff told representatives that additional package delivery boxes were needed at all four locations. He also brought up Silverthorne resident Dan Wall’s public comment during a Summit County Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, July 27.
During that meeting, Wall talked about recent issues with the Dillon location, which he said opened an hour late on Monday, July 26. Wall asked to speak with a supervisor and was told that the location didn’t have any management personnel and was experiencing severe labor shortages. Wall said he also visited the Silverthorne location, and he was told by one of the staff members that she was working six 12-hour shifts per week because the location was down five staff members.
Wall commended the county’s efforts for working on the issue and said that he’d be launching a grassroots effort to help put pressure on the Postal Service. He said he’s already reached out to Rep. Joe Neguse about the issue and wants to take it one step further.
“I’m going to create some kind of civic effort and try to get this changed,” he said. “… Nobody should have to go into a place where you wouldn’t let your dog live.”
As for next steps, Vargo said Postal Service representatives plan to conduct an audit at all four facilities in Summit County “to understand what they could or couldn’t do on their properties.” Vargo said they’d also work to determine whether or not cluster-box mailboxes would be successful and the costs associated with other potential solutions.
Vargo said the representatives are supposed to update staff with a report on what this timeline would look like as well as other action items and next steps moving forward. As of press deadline, Vargo said he had still not received an update.
In all, Vargo reported that the meeting with representatives “was at least a productive conversation” and that “they did seem to be taking it seriously.” The representatives also apparently said that Summit County had risen on their priority list.
Moving forward, Vargo suggested that those wishing to advocate for better mail service in the county should reach out to the United States Postal Service’s consumer affairs hotline at 303-853-6185.
As for Wall’s grassroots efforts, he’s still in the early stages of planning. Right now, he’s working on building a website and launching a social media presence. Once these two items are completed, he said he’ll begin recruiting other community members to join him. In his eyes, it’s efforts like these that can move the needle the most.
“The towns out here are doing a great job of trying to get the post office’s act together and trying to help us get much better service,” Wall said in an interview with the Summit Daily. “But I think if we have a citizens’ group that keeps the pressure on for a long period of time, I think that’s what necessary for them is to know that we’re here and we’re concerned and we’re going to keep letting our representatives know how we think (and) what we want.”
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