More on the Marbleton Post Office closure
Marbleton resident, Paul Scherbel, addresses the Post Office officials. From left to right: Paula Nicks, Big Piney Postmaster, Ruben Rojo, Contract Specialist out of Denver, and Lisa Gamboa, area representative Manager for Consumer Affairs for Colorado and Wyoming.
New Moosely Mailboxes to open in Big Piney
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online, Reporter's Notes
November 6, 2007
A vocal, a mostly very unhappy, crowd of citizens showed up at a public meeting Monday night at the Marbleton Town Hall to discuss the closure of the Marbleton post office and get an official explanation as to why the Marbleton post office was closed.
“It was a business decision,” said Rubin Rojo, Contract Specialist out of the Denver office. Marbleton had a “contract station”, not an official post office, Rojo explained.
The Big Piney post office recently installed “cluster boxes” in various locations around the area, providing street address mail delivery. Once people get street delivery for their mail, fulfilling the post office’s mandate for delivery services, a contract station is no longer needed for that area.
The meeting was organized by our congressional representatives. Attending were Patti Smith, Field Representative for Senator Barrasso, Lyn Shanaghy, Field Representative for Senator Enzi, and Bonnie Cannon, Field Representative for Senator Cubin. Wyoming State Senator Stan Cooper was also present. Also on hand were two Postal representatives from Denver, Ruben Rojo, Manager of Retail Services for Colorado and Wyoming; Lisa Gamboa, Manager of Consumer Affairs; and Big Piney Postmistress Paula Nicks.
The Marbleton post office served 334 boxholders. It has been a contract service office for 26 years. Big Piney also has a post office, run by the federal government using government employees. Both towns shared the same zip code.
Rojo explained that economics played a big part in the decision. Each contract station is reviewed on a yearly basis. There have been rumblings about closing the Marbleton station for about 2-1/2 years now. Officials finally terminated the contract this summer by giving their 60-days notice to the contractor. The post office closed its doors on October 24th. This left residents scrambling to either get new boxes in Piney, use a cluster box, or start getting their mail at General Delivery. Many people were extremly upset about the cost of having to get new checks printed, order new business cards and stationery, and notify people of their address change with such short notice.
The U.S. Postal Service is losing from $10 to $15 million dollars in sales a year due to the internet, Rojo said. Also, in general, the volume of mail they process has been steadily declining. People don’t send as much first-class mail as they used to. Population may be up, but volume of mail has declined. Other companies that provide delivery services for packages have resulted in a huge decrease in profit for the U.S. Postal Service. As a result, they have been laying off employees, raising prices for their services, and closing offices that aren’t economical for them as a business.
When asked point blank if they would consider reopening the Marbleton contract station, Rojo said no, “that contract is over.” However, they will listen to what the Town has to say about pursuing other options.
A variety of other issues were discussed, centering around a perceived lack of consideration by the government for their Marbleton customers and failure to act in good faith with the Town of Marbleton to try to find a mutually-agreeable solution.
Syd Fortuna, owner of Moosely Mailboxes and More in Pinedale, announced that she will be opening a second store in Big Piney soon. It will provide mailboxes for rent, package mailing and pick-up services, 24-hour parcel lockers, Fed Ex shipping and more. They are currently in the process of renovating a building next to All American Fuel and expect to be open around the end of November, in time for the holiday mailing rush.
Ultimately, it was decided to form a committee to look at the situation to see of an alternative solution could be found that both sides would find workable. It was decided that Marbleton Mayor Jim Robinson will organize the committee to look into options. State Senator Stan Cooper volunteered to be on the commitee too.
For more details on the discussions at this meeting, see the local newspapers on Thursday. (Pinedale Roundup and the Sublette Examiner)
Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!