Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Text of memo sent by Sally Hoyler

I've just written and faxed the following to our congressional delegation. On the cover sheet I wrote,

"Our meeting last night was very productive and many questions, concerns, and possible solutions were discussed. I am sending you now a memo for immediate action, and later today I will send a summary of other questions and concerns that you may help us with. I speak for everyone when I say, thank you very much for your continued help with our cause!"

Sally Hoyler, Ripton Town Clerk


July 2, 2008

TO: Our Congressional Delegation
FROM: Residents of Ripton, Vermont 05766
RE: Immediate action to restore mail delivery to Ripton

At a community meeting held in Ripton on July 1, 2008 attended by approximately 100 residents, it was decided that while we accept the forthcoming apology from the United States Postal Service regarding the recent action to close the Ripton Post Office without due notice, we feel that we are owed, at the very least, the equivalent of the required notice (60-days minimum) and response time we should have received in the form of temporary staff provided by the USPS to the Ripton Post Office location so that our mail delivery may be restored as soon as possible. We feel that just as the threat of the physical removal of the mailboxes from the Ripton Post Office necessitated immediate action to prohibit because it would be a move that would be difficult to reverse, we feel that the removal of our mail delivery service from the Ripton location must be reversed. In light of the fact that the Ripton Post Office remains whole and available, and we understand that the USPS is going forward with the bidding process to re-establish a contracted postmaster in Ripton, along with all the other reasons cited below, we fully expect the USPS to abide by it’s postal policy as set forth in 39 USCA Section 101(b) to “…provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns…”.*

Other reasons discussed for the immediate restoration of mail delivery in Ripton:
  • Our mail service has never been interrupted in the past when we have been “between” contracted postmasters; appropriate temporary staff was always provided.

  • Many residents are unable to get to the East Middlebury Post Office during the window hours that we are restricted to for mail pick-up. The location of the Ripton Post Office within the Ripton Country Store offers the convenience of box access during store hours, which is open seven days a week, 7am-7pm weekdays and 8am-6pm weekends. One Ripton resident asked: “How do I get my mail in East Middlebury if I work a 9-hr day six days a week?”

  • The 4 mile section of Vermont Route 125 between Ripton and East Middlebury is not safe for high volume traffic. At the best of times, it is a narrow winding road with a posted speed limit of 40mph with reduced speed on curves, and is posted by the State of Vermont as “not recommended for tractor trailers”. The current state of this road is that it was damaged in a flash flood event on June 14, 2008 where considerable erosion of the south shoulder and lane occurred, and full repairs have not yet been completed.

  • The East Middlebury Post Office is undersized for the addition of our 216 boxes. The parking lot and building are undersized for the addition of 200+ postal patrons. The question of violation of federal building code needs to be addressed.

  • The inadequacy of space at the East Middlebury P.O. causes our mail to be sorted in batches. When we arrive to pick up our mail, we are required to wait while the postal worker sorts through the batch to pull out a single box holder’s mail.

  • Many residents have experienced delayed mail service evidenced by postmark and/or as compared to the regular delivery we have been accustomed to. This raises concerns for those who receive paychecks, social security checks, and the like.

* Complete text: “The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office shall be closed solely for operating at a deficit, it being the specific intent of the Congress that effective postal services be insured to residents of both urban and rural communities.”

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