Postal Service: West Casper Post Office Idea Is A Dead Letter
A Paradise Valley resident last week asked Casper City Council to look at supporting the creation of a post office in west Casper.
The creation of a new post office would require an act of Congress, but Brian Clark said he wanted to generate local support including a discussion among Council members before speaking to members of Wyoming's congressional delegation.
They shouldn't bother, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said Monday.
"We're not going to build any new post offices," David Rupert said. "We're not going to add; we're going to try to make do with what we have."
In fact, west Casper already has a post office, Rupert added.
It's in Mills.
"You don't have to live in Mills to use that office," Rupert said. "So the intent for the people on that side of town, they can use Mills for just about everything they need."
When he spoke to Council, Clark said west side had a postal station in Smith's grocery store on CY Avenue until the end of January. So now, from his house in Paradise Valley, he has to travel about 10 miles to the downtown Post Office, 123 N. Wolcott St.
Rupert said Clark has to drive only three miles to the Mills Post Office, 526 SW Wyoming Blvd.
He's not unsympathetic to the concerns of Wyomingites and other rural Americans. He now works in Denver, but he lived in Wyoming for 25 years and served as postmaster in Douglas and Jackson Hole, carried mail in Evanston, and was a supervisor in Cheyenne.
The USPS has the duty to deliver mail to wherever Americans live, he said.
People can access postal services by going to usps.com to buy postage, have stamps sent to their homes, pay for postage for parcels by leaving money for carriers, and find the nearest post office, Rupert said. He spoke to the Mills postmaster who told him that office has plenty of P.O. boxes and already serves a lot of west Casper residents.
Rural issues alone aren't the only problems vexing the U.S. Postal Service, Rupert said.
In 2017, the USPS, which receives no tax revenue, had 5 billion fewer first-class letters go through its system than in 2016, he said. "So we have a declining demand for our services, especially those correspondent-type services. So we have to respond. We're keeping our rural locations open."
The Postal Service, like other retail businesses, also is losing customers to online shopping, he said. "Shopping habits are changing, and so by us adding a brick-and-mortar location isn't necessarily serving a community for the future, and it would be fiscally irresponsible."