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Buena Vista scores major victory in battle with USPS

Buena Vista scores major victory in battle with USPS
Buena Vista scores major victory in battle with USPS 03:04

After six years of persistent pestering of Colorado politicians and the United States Post Office, Buena Vista is now going to get free P.O. Boxes. This is a fight the community says they shouldn't have had to fight in the first place, referencing USPS guidelines saying everyone is entitled to free mail delivery. 

CBS News Colorado was there in July as the community fought for their right to free mail delivery.   

Now one of the citizen advocates, Grace Garret, says she will have to find something else to worry about for five hours a day now that they've accomplished their goal.

"We did not stop. We had letters that we were writing to the post office, directly to our congressmen. We were getting support from our county commissioners, from our town trustees. We sent letters to the media. We asked for congressional support. As you know, we actually did a protest," Garret said.

The free PO Boxes will not change the issues with short staffing at the office, nor the long lines to pick up packages inside. Still Garret said they're focusing on what they can change, even after all this time for now. There will be time to tackle the other issues later. 

"Either give us home delivery, which would eliminate the lines or give us free [P.O.] Boxes," Garret said.

Garret knows they are not the last mountain community to fight this fight. She believes Elizabeth and Crested Butte have similar issues right now with their post deliveries. She had these recommendations for communities looking for concrete solutions. 

  1. Constant pressure (Buena Vista worked for 6 years).
  2. Have a strong factual case (Buena Vista pointed to a survey the USPS quoted saying the town didn't want free P.O. Boxes. There's no record of that survey happening.). 
  3. Never give up.

A statement from USPS confirms the change for the mountain town:

"Starting January 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." 

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