McCoy rallies to save post office |

McCoy rallies to save post office

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyPostmaster Ruby Forster, right, checks for mail for customer Lexi Millon, 13, left Wednesday at the old McCoy post office in McCoy, Colorado

MCCOY, Colorado – Residents of these ranch lands along the Colorado River, just south of the Routt County border, see the McCoy Post Office as more than just a place to get the mail.

It’s a place to catch up with neighbors and check out the bulletin board for the latest community news, said local resident Natalie DeStefano.

“We used to have State Bridge, we used to have the Bond bar, and those are both shut down,” she said. “So the post office is almost like our central station.”

When the U.S. Postal Service announced that this century-old post office was in danger of closing, residents were concerned that they would lose that gathering spot.

The post office, which resides in a yellow house at end of one of McCoy’s two streets, had a plumbing problem. The well was not producing enough water, and the post office couldn’t stay there unless the problem was fixed.

“The owner of the property had sent us a letter indicating they did not want to repair it, and the post office would likely have to move out of the facility,” said Al DeSarro, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Everybody in McCoy would have to go to Bond, a few miles down the highway, to get their mail and their stamps. Maybe more troubling for residents, McCoy would lose one of the things – along with the church, the community center and the school – that helps make it a community.

Nearly 90 local residents turned out at a meeting last Thursday to talk about the uncertain future of the post office. Officials from the Postal Service showed up, and so did the owner of the house.

It didn’t take long to figure out there was way to solve the problem, said Bob Smiley, a local resident.

“I said, ‘Look, this meeting has got to be over,'” said Smiley, a retired Air Force man who lives on a 40-acre ranch nearby. “Let’s put the cistern in, fix the problem, and that’s the end of it.”

There was a local resident there named Bob Ford who has a company that could install a cistern. And then Smiley asked everyone to chip in to help pay for the repairs.

“I threw 20 in,” Smiley said. “Another guy threw in 20, and another guy gave 40. All of a sudden I had more money than I could deal with.”

When all was said and done, there was $1,000 to go toward the repairs – more than enough to get the job done.

The Postal Service now expects to renew its lease for the building. The 60-some boxes in the McCoy Post Office will continue to get each day’s incoming mail, with Postmaster Ruby Forster, a lifelong McCoy resident, sitting behind the counter.

McCoy, Colorado, 80463, will keep its post office.

“The community came together, we emptied our pockets, and it was a huge success,” DeStefano said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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