Friday, September 4, 2020

Last Decade's Meeting with Post Office Officials Should Inspire Us to Buy Locally, Think Ahead, Keep Our P.O.



Upper Right Photo -- The main speaker of the evening presents the dilemma that the Postal Service was in with regard to unproductive locations of post offices. He spoke of high rental fees, utilities, equipment, full time employees and shrinking markets particularly in light of the growth of emails. He emphasized the shrinking market here at Silver Lake Post office (SLPO). The annual sales of stamps, other postal products, the number of mailed letters, and the then-full time employee who staffed the SLPO did not make our PO viable for continuation as was at that time. The Silver Lake Association president represented the SLA at the meeting. There was also a question and answer venue.

Lower Left Photo shows the second PO speaker on the left; then SLI-President Pete Mairs, and first PO speaker on the right. Both speakers told of three alternatives to the then-current configuration of the SLPO. (1) Split the SLPO into two rural routes--one out of Perry and one out of Castile and install a bank of outdoor post office boxes somewhere along Perry Ave., possibly in the Park; (2) Locate the SLPO mailboxes in the end wall of the Perry PO utilizing the "Silver Lake" name and zip code; (3) give a trial period to a part-time SLPO with part-time employee and limited hours. This trial period will take into consideration the amount taken in for sales of stamps and products, and the amount of letters and packages mailed through the SLPO. 

Upper Left Photo is the panel of "secretaries" taking notes and minutes of the meeting. Lower Right is the painting of the SLPO brought in by Fredrick Schuknecht.

Those who believe in the SLPO and think it benefits our community, were offered the advice of increasing sales at the SLPO. In other words, as mostly a summer residents community, we should buy all of our stamps (and other postal products) at the SLPO and encourage our friends and neighbors to do so also. Those returning to homes outside of Silver Lake should estimate their postage needs for the remaining year (Christmas, Birthday,  Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day greetings, and etc.), until their return to Silver Lake next Spring. In other words, plan ahead for your postage and purchase it at SLPO before leaving. All letters and packages should always be sent through our own SLPO to show we need a Post Office.


Generating local conversation about reducing costs for the SLPO, mainly the building, would get us ahead of the curve for the next meeting (which they indicated would most likely come to be), and possibly be able to bring a cost-saving idea or two to assist in the keeping of our Silver Lake Post Office open and healthy. Perhaps we could even head off another meeting and potential loss of the PO by showing enough interest as to offer up some of our own ideas.

For example, but not limited to, the north-west corner of level one (basement) rooms of Epworth by utilizing the north side door. The first smaller room is currently a storage room and would make a good post office boxes room on the wall between the two rooms. The very next room is several times larger than their current facilities. It would require remodeling, but could be offered at a greatly reduced rental rate and installation of localized heating would be required. If nothing else, it is a conversation starter as to what is and is not possible and/or feasible.

Or we could just wait until they came to take a vote on one of the two previous alternatives.

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