Eagle Ranch wants mail delivered | VailDaily.com

Eagle Ranch wants mail delivered

Kathy HeicherEagle CorrespondentVail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/EnterpriseVince Reyes, left, and Roy Valenzuela, right, go through their mail at the Eagle Post Office.

EAGLE, Colorado These days a trip to the Eagle Post Office often involves some jockeying for a parking space; and likely a wait in line at the counter.And the already busy facility is likely to keep getting even busier. Postmaster Dion Helmick says 3,623 post office boxes are currently in use; and theres another 800 to 900 boxes sitting empty, waiting for future customers. Theres no doubt the facility is bustling. Helmick says the Eagle Post Office averages 800 transactions on most Mondays.Still, a recent survey by the Eagle Ranch Association revealed strong support for an independent business that would rent out mail boxes at Eagle Ranch Village.We got 400 responses back just out of Eagle Ranch. The survey indicated people want a little more convenience, said Laurie Thompson of Wright & Company, which helped to develop the subdivision. A young couple residing at Eagle Ranch, Patrick and Melissa Welch, have reserved a commercial space near the Eagle Ranch Health Club. By early fall, the Welches hope to open a packing-and-shipping business that would have 120 mailboxes and also sell gift cards and stationery. Driving over to Chambers Avenue and dealing with the post office can be stressful … were thinking of the convenience, says Patrick Welch.Melissa Welch says the mail boxes at her store could be accessed 24 hours a day, and customers could call in to see if they have any mail before making the trip. Although the numbers arent definite, the Welches estimate the cost of mailbox rental would be somewhere in the $30-a-month range.Eagle Ranch resident Joyce Chizmadia says she and her husband would absolutely use a mail service on their side of town. When Eagle Ranch sent out the survey, the Chizmadias did the math, and figured that the cost of driving to the post office on Chambers Avenue averages $20-$30 a month. Shes also wary of the traffic situation at post office.I think the Post Office needs a reality check. Its just getting too crowded, and the counter service needs some improvement, she says.Eagle resident Don Horst, who recently ran for Town Board, says an Eagle Ranch facility would alleviate some traffic headed to Chambers Avenue; but he would like to see even more changes in mail delivery.I think they should have delivery to all of Eagle. Group boxes in neighborhoods would alleviate multiple traffic trips to Chambers, he says.Post office officials say thats not likely to happen. Helmick points out that the Eagle facility is not overcrowded. And Al DeSarro, spokesman for the U.S. Post Services Western regional office, says there are stringent criteria for setting up home delivery.Unless you have it already, it is usually very hard to accomplish, he says, If service is already established where people go to the post office to get their mail, it is very hard to get that (home delivery) done.Helmick says parking may remain a problem. There is no money to build more parking on undeveloped land east of the post office. And, while the facility is busy he says it is staffed accordingly, with eight clerks on staff. Typically, six clerks per day are needed to run the post office.DeSarro says Internet users can buy and print out postage for letters and packages at the Postal Service Web site, USPS.com. Stamps can be purchased on-line, or at some retail stores, such as Costco.Were really trying to push people to do as much mailing as they can over the Internet, he says.

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