Buena Vista residents gathered in front of the town post office Friday, July 29, to protest the current services offered by the United States Postal Service.
The protest began at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of West Brookdale Ave and U.S. Highway 24, where six people gathered in front of High County Bank holding out signs to the people driving. Six more protestors gathered outside the post office down the street.
“We’re working on the corner and in front of the post office to get as much attention as possible,” Grace Garret of BV Citizens for a Better Post Office said.
“My main beef is having to pay $166 a year,” Buena Vista resident Gene Arkfeld said while covered in signs.
“I wish more people would show up,” Buena Vista resident Mary Gulash said. “I’m not sure this will do much though.”
“It’s going OK,” said Mary Ann Uzelec, creator of the Facebook group BV Citizens for a Better Post Office. “We’ve got enough people to get the message out though we are always happy to have more.”
Other problems the group protested included the lack of service currently offered by the post office with mail being given to the wrong people, package retrieval taking up to an hour or more of waiting in line, the quality of delivery service and constantly lost or stolen mail.
“We know we have not met service expectations of the community and are working hard to restore the respect of the public,” USPS strategic communications officer James Boxrud said. “These challenges are not unique to our mountain and resort communities like Buena Vista. The advent of the pandemic, the increase of consumer use of ordering necessities online and the national employment challenges have exacerbated this for many communities.”
When asked how they are working to fix this, Boxrud said that they were currently working on evaluating certain criteria for the BV post office box holders and taking into account local laws, physical barriers and access to rural delivery.
“We are very close to a resolution,” Boxrud said.
“This isn’t about the postal workers,” Grace Garret said. “This is about the postal service.”
In mid-June, town administrator Phillip Puckett said he had received word from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s office stating that work on free P.O. boxes and home delivery for BV residents was in progress.
The protest for Friday ended around 1:30 p.m. and was continued again at 11:30 a.m., Saturday.