Free post boxes here with a new install?
[ By Mark Reaman ]
Beginning in January 2023, the Buena Vista Post Office will offer free post office box service to qualified Buena Vista residents, and some Crested Butte area residents would like to see a similar decision made here. Residents of Buena Vista had to pay $166 a year or more for their post office boxes.
According to Voice of the Valley of the Ark“The decision was made after a review by the United States Postal Service, Buena Vista Postmaster James Wood, congressional officials and the City of Buena Vista, and strong community push… Approved customers may experience box size degradation, and they may be forced to accept general delivery if there aren’t enough PO boxes to go around.
The Crested Mound News contacted to see if Postal Service customers in Crested Butte could expect the same change in service, as local customers in that area must pay a fee to have a PO Box. The answer seems a little opaque, but there is an indication that it is being considered.
“We are currently evaluating various criteria for Crested Butte post office box holders which consider local laws, physical barriers, rural delivery access, etc. and let’s take a look at who is eligible for free Group E (free) post boxes in the future. USPS West Area Strategic Communications Specialist James Boxrud responded in an email this week. “As you know, at Crested Butte we are actively looking for a new location that will provide the adequate space needed for this growing community.”
Boxrud said the USPS has been a longtime institution in Crested Butte and wants to remain a partner in the community. “Crested Butte was established as a town in 1878 and incorporated in 1880 and we have been here from the very beginning,” he wrote. “Residents of the city limits traditionally received their mail at the post office box. In fact, the majority of cities in Colorado do not have in-town delivery and PO Box or General Delivery is how mail is received. To illustrate this fact, within a 100 mile driving distance of Crested Butte, there are only four towns that have either urban or rural delivery: Buena Vista, Aspen, Leadville and Salida.
As is commonly understood, Boxrud said the employee shortage situation is a huge factor in the Crested Butte area. “At Crested Butte we don’t have full staff, we continue to adjust our available resources, maximize our local staff and augment the surrounding region to help with the workload,” he explained. “We are proud of the efforts of postal workers in Colorado and across the country, as they define essential public service every day.”
He said the USPS is actively hiring staff and that could help alleviate some of the local issues. To apply: Go to usps.com/careers, click “Search Jobs,” select “Colorado,” click “Get Started,” then click the appropriate job link. He noted that a general overview of USPS job requirements, specific job requirements, and hourly pay is available on the website. Other positions are also available including Mail Processing Assistant, Mail Processing Clerk, etc. Job postings are updated weekly, so check back frequently for additional opportunities.
“We are actively recruiting throughout Colorado to include our mountain communities,” he said. “We have many positions available throughout most of Colorado and we encourage all interested candidates to apply. These are great jobs that can quickly lead to career opportunities with all the benefits, including paid annual and sick leave, paid vacation, health care, retirement, and other benefits.
As for the idea of getting free post boxes at current or future Crested Butte Post Office facilities, that may come up at some point, but there’s no firm date set for an announcement.