December 23, 2010

Uproar in the Douglas community

Uproar in the Douglas community
Patrons upset with post office closing
By CHERYL ODDEN

The Douglas Post Office is relatively small – in fact, it’s about the right size for a few patrons to be served at a time. Housed in a “single-wide” mobile home, the postal station includes a lobby where patrons retrieve mail from their mailboxes.
At least that’s the way it was.
To the dismay of Douglas residents – and of some rural postal customers – the city’s post office has been closed for nearly three weeks.
Without advance notice to patrons, a ready-to-fold “Priority Mail” box recently covered the interior mail drop. On the box was scrawled, “Do not use – put mail in outside box. This drop is no longer functional. Mail will not be collected at this point – put outgoing mail outside.”
Without explanation, three units of metal postal boxes were installed in front of the post office.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14, a few Douglas postal customers learned that someone from the Bismarck Post Office would be in town the following day to meet with patrons and to issue keys to the outdoor boxes.
As is common in small, rural communities, word spread quickly. Local postal customers and local media were invited to attend.
This past Wednesday, shortly before 2 p.m., Wanda Cleveland, manager, Post Office Operations (Bismarck office), was at the Douglas Post Office to issue keys for the outdoor boxes. As other patrons arrived, the small lobby quickly filled with people who were upset. Some said they had not been able to get their mail for a week. They wanted their mail and they wanted answers!
 


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