Long lines at Granby Post Office tests patrons’ patience

The line inside the Granby Post Office on Wednesday weaved through the small building.

With the holidays right around the corner, Granby’s Post Office is experiencing a significant backlog for people picking up packages.

Patrons of the post office have waited in long lines on average of 30-45 minutes, though some have had to stand in line for an an hour or more to pick up and send packages.

Currently, the post office is only open for package pickup from noon-5 p.m. on weekdays and 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Posted on the door, a crumpled sign blames the reduced hours on a lack of staff.

For some, the lengthy pickup times have been a barrier to accessing their packaged mail and a major concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. While people standing in line at the post office have spaced out to some extent, the small building leaves little room for large crowds.

Shortly after opening Wednesday, the line at the post office was wrapped from the service counter throughout most of the building all the way to the door.

The long lines have kept Roger Kish, a Grand County resident of 15 years who gets his mail at the Granby Post Office, from grabbing his packages altogether.

“If it’s in a mailbox, we can get that,” Kish said. “If it’s in a locker, we can get that, but other areas of the post office, we are unwilling to take the risk of being in a closed environment for (that amount of time with COVID-19). That’s an unacceptable risk to us.”

A woman who has back and knee problems recently penned a letter to the editor in which she wrote that the accommodations at the post office made her to leave in tears.

The post office’s reduced hours and resulting congestion have not gone unnoticed by local officials either.

On Tuesday, county commissioners and Grand County Public Health detailed some of the issues, and the Granby Board of Trustees discussed the post office at its Tuesday night meeting.

Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke said he’d like the county to send a letter to the Postmaster General asking for more support, noting that it’s not ideal for people to gather indoors while waiting in line, even if everyone is wearing masks.

“We’d like to encourage the Postmaster General or federal agencies to increase staffing opportunities or something to be done to allow some better hours and spread out the traffic in there,” Linke said.

Granby Town Manager Ted Cherry also acknowledged the town has received complaints about the post office. Cherry said he’s been in contact with Sen. Michael Bennet’s office, as well as Grand County Public Health and Granby police.

“We’re actively trying to figure out some ways of maybe extending those hours a little bit or whatnot,” Cherry said.

James Boxrud, postal service communications specialist, said the post office operations manager was aware of the delays and working to get a third staffer beginning soon.

“We apologize and appreciate the patience,” Boxrud said. “(Maintaining three staff members) is our plan.”

Boxrud explained the staffing issue was due to the postmaster being out of the office, though he couldn’t say why or for how long. In the meantime, he said postal service employees from surrounding areas will be tapped to help out.

He praised the work of the employees who have been handling the influx of packages on a short staff. Boxrud added that post offices across the US have had more mail and packages this year with online shopping becoming more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the US Postal Service, the two weeks before Christmas are the busiest package delivery days of the year with an average of 28 million packages delivered per day.

Boxrud encouraged people to mail packages early for the holidays this year.

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