BUENA VISTA, Colo. (KDVR) — Back in July, FOX31 told you about residents in Bunea Vista who were fed up with their post office because of the high prices of mandatory PO Boxes and the lack of delivery. Now, they’re set to get some relief.
A decision from USPS is years in the making. Those residents who were having to pay for mail services through the PO boxes will now get free boxes starting at the beginning of next year.
Mary Ann Uzelac has been at the center of this fight contacting the post office, organizing community meetings, sending letters to her state reps and even planning protests.
“They were beeping as people passed by and had their fists in the air in solidarity and people were yelling thank you out their car windows. I was really gratified by that, and it really put a spark in us to keep on keeping on,” said Uzelac.
That hard work has paid off with help from the post office hoping there is no more discretion.
“I’m very pleased and the town is pleased, and it’s really gratifying. I give the post office credit, they stepped back and took a new look at it and decided they could do it, and so I think it worked out well for all of us,” said Uzelac.
But the question still remains if delivery will happen.
They’ve been told the reasoning for non-delivery mail came from a survey taken 25 years ago showing that’s what people wanted. Those locals at the center of this fight have done the research and said they can’t find any evidence the survey ever existed.
Uzelac said she’s just thankful for the changes that are coming.
“Rural areas get neglected because they are a higher cost delivery service. They were aware that rural areas should not be treated any worse or should be treated equally to urban and suburban areas,” Uzelac said.
Unfortunately, there are other small mountain towns that were dealing with these same issues we’ve told you about, like Elizabeth that have not received a solution yet.
The full statement from USPS:
“The United States Postal Service, Buena Vista Postmaster James Wood, Congressional Representatives, and the Town of Buena Vista have been working together to review Buena Vista’s unique circumstances regarding Post Office Box delivery and to establish a free mode of delivery for every Buena Vista resident per the United States Postal Service’s Universal Service Obligation. Starting Jan. 2, 2023 the Buena Vista Post Office will offer free PO Box services to qualified Buena Vista residents within geographic delivery ZIP Code boundaries who are not currently served by a delivery route. Customers may apply for Group E (Free) PO Box service by completing PS Form 1093, Application for Post Office Box Service, and presenting it to the Buena Vista Post Office. Only one Group E (free) PO Box may be obtained for each delivery point of service, under certain conditions. Qualifying customers whose current PO Box rent expires between now and Jan. 2, 2023, may start the application process now. More information will be available as we approach the effective date of Jan. 2.The Postmaster will evaluate various criteria under DMM 508.4.5 and .4.8, including local laws, physical barriers and whether the customer is situated along an existing carrier route. Approved customers may experience a downgrade in box size, and they may be constrained to accept General Delivery if there are not enough PO Boxes to go around. The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”