Rep. Joe Neguse tours Steamboat Post Office as Alpenglow Village gets some good news
On the same day U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse visited the Steamboat Springs Post Office to listen to citizens’ concerns, there was a bit of good news for residents of Alpenglow Village.
“The (cluster mailbox) locks have been changed at the Alpenglow Village complex, and the keys can be obtained from the property manager on Monday,” James Boxrud, a strategic communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service, wrote in a Friday, April 7, email to the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
“Current residents who desire service at this location will need to submit a change of address from their P.O. Box or general delivery address to the new address in order to receive mail,” Boxrud continued. “The Postal Service apologizes for the delay in the startup of mail delivery to these boxes.”
For two years, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority has been working to get mail delivered to the cluster boxes at Alpenglow Village, which was completed in fall 2020.
Now it appears the wait is over.
On Friday, Rep. Neguse toured the Steamboat Springs Post Office while listening to his constituents voice their concerns about the Postal Service, P.O. Box fees and the condition of the downtown Steamboat Springs facility this past winter.
From late 2022 into February, the local facility struggled to keep up with the flow of mail coming through the post office and serve customers who had mailboxes and cluster boxes in the country. At the time, Postal Service officials said the service issues were due to problems with contract drivers and the challenges of hiring qualified staff.
“We are going to push the Postal Service to change the way in which they hire folks in our mountain communities — the contractor classification, the temporary classification, verses permanent employees who can ultimately build a long career at the (Postal Service),” Neguse said. “I will say I’m grateful to the community, to the City Council members, to the commissioners who all together collectively lifted their voices with our office to implore the Postal Service to fix the immediate issues that were occurring. I’m glad to see that some of that has been mitigated, but we are not out of the woods. We are going to have to keep pushing because, at the end of the day, if we don’t fix the fundamental challenges, what happened in December could very well happen again.”
As Neguse toured the facility, he listened to constituents describe the conditions in the parking lot this past winter and how they volunteered to clean the facility when it was at its worst.
They also brought up issues including the lack of home delivery and the fact that many downtown residents without access to cluster boxes are forced to pay for P.O. Boxes. They also mentioned how much those fees have increased lately, as they are now $200 for a small box.
“There are sort of two buckets,” Neguse said. “One is the policy issue that was brought up last by a constituent … around the P.O. Box and home delivery, and we should have a longer conversation about that and how we can engage. The second bucket is all of these discreet issues that I think we can resolve in the short term. I’m glad that some of that seems to have ameliorated.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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