Post office switches undeliverable policy stance
July 25, 2012
The United States Post Office is redrawing the lines that define where mail carriers can and cannot deliver mail in Park City’s Old Town, a change that could impact residents’ wallets.
The local post office recently incorporated more homes into its deliverable zones, areas where mail carriers can deliver to the physical address, leaving fewer Old Town homes designated as undeliverable. Homes with the switched status will lose the free post office box provided by USPS, but many of the homes have no physical location for mail, no slots in the front door, clustered or individual mail boxes. In order to keep the P.O. Box, many residents will have to start paying for the service.
While the post office will not take away free boxes until Park City staff find a way to deliver mail, residents will have to wait to see how and where their mail will be going in the future.
"Right now, nothing’s being changed," said Margaret Putnam, the USPS manager of business and customer contact for Utah. "We’re working with the city council to determine the best direction to go.
Either (residents) will have delivery to their homes or continue to have P.O. Box delivery. Until a decision is made, nothing is changing in the mail delivery."
City staff are discussing the Old Town mail delivery options, working with the post office in the process. City Engineer Matt Cassel has scheduled internal meetings this week covering familiar territory and reworking a negative recommendation to city council for clustered mailboxes.
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The area deemed deliverable roughly includes homes north of Heber Ave., Woodside Ave., Lowell Ave. and Norfolk Ave. Undeliverable areas in Old Town will include homes south of Heber Ave. and west of Marsac Ave.
"There are so many things to consider," Cassel said about incoming requests from residents to install mailboxes. "We’ll have a hard time saying ‘yes’ to one person and ‘no’ to another, and the process will seem very uneven."
"What are our options," he added. "Do we want clustered mailboxes in Old Town and if we do, how will it look and how will it work? If we don’t where will we put the mailboxes?"
A driving factor in the policy change to incorporate more Old Town homes into a deliverable area was the extra work created by second homeowners, Cassel said. Second homeowners spending portions of the year in Park City would still be eligible for a free P.O. Box, but if there is no forwarding address with the home, tracking down the correct address could create extra work for post office employees.
"The post office spends a lot of time tracking people down," Cassel said. " Those areas in Old Town where the post office deems to be deliverable, it’s the homeowner’s option to either provide a mailbox somewhere in the area or pay for a P.O. Box. That fact will probably save the post office a lot of time."
Staff discussions regarding post office delivery will be pushed forward as a priority with possible Park City Council agenda items appearing by the end of August.