Bennet, Hickenlooper invite Postal Service leadership to witness challenges first-hand |

Bennet, Hickenlooper invite Postal Service leadership to witness challenges first-hand

Letter seeks urgent attention to Colorado’s post office challenges, particularly in rural and mountain communities

The Vail Post Office has experienced similar challenges to other Eagle County Post Offices, but it also may be looking to downsize the building’s size.
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On Thursday, Feb. 23, Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper sent a letter to the United States Postal Service’s top leadership, inviting them to visit to experience the service and delivery challenges facing many communities’ post offices.  

The letter is addressed not only to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy but also to Joshua Colin, the agency’s chief retail and delivery officer and executive vice president.

“Our office has worked closely with the Colorado-Wyoming USPS district office on these issues, and it is clear that the district is strapped for resources and attention from Washington. We’re hopeful Postmaster DeJoy and USPS leadership will come to Colorado to see the challenges their staff and our communities face firsthand,” Bennet said in a prepared statement.

In addition to inviting DeJoy and Colin for a visit, the senators call for “prompt implementations of solutions” to the many challenges facing local post offices.

In a list provided in the letter, the senators ask for Postal Service leadership to resolve staffing shortages, partner with towns to identify affordable housing for Postal Service staff, revamp physical infrastructure (particularly for packages), and reinstate regular updates to the Congressional delegation.

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“Last year, Colorado-Wyoming district staff indicated that it would resume quarterly calls with the Congressional delegation. These calls allow congressional offices to raise constituent concerns; they are also an opportunity for USPS to describe efforts to resolve ongoing staffing and delivery issues. We urge you to reinstate these calls immediately,” the letter reads.

The letter represents the most recent outreach to the federal agency from Colorado’s electeds. For over a year now, staff from both senators’ offices as well as from Rep. Joe Neguse’s office have been working to elevate local concerns to both a regional and federal level within the agency.

Most recently, Neguse wrote to the agency’s Colorado-Wyoming district expressing his deep concerns over its mismanagement that has led to “urgent concerns about the operations and conditions” of many of the mountain post offices. This followed a letter sent by Bennet in October, which asked the postmaster general for the funds from the Postal Service Reform Act to be used to address the mountain community’s service issues.

While some challenges have been resolved through the various meetings held throughout the year — namely, in Eagle County, a successful start to a relocation process for the Gypsum post office — many outreach efforts have proven unsuccessful.

In Avon, where long lines, unclean conditions, overflowing boxes, and delivery challenges top resident concerns, a space constraint study that deemed the space was not constrained seemingly stalled any progress. And in Vail, a letter sent with the towns of Frisco and Dillon, which sought collaboration between the towns and agency to work toward housing solutions, went unanswered by the Postal Service.

In Neguse’s letter earlier this year, he wrote that Postal Service district leadership had “declined nearly every opportunity” to work with communities on solutions.

“We find this lack of initiative immensely frustrating when local leaders continue to raise these challenges and propose creative solutions, only to have them ignored,” he wrote.

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