Citing a shortage in staffing, signs on the doors of the downtown Jackson post office state there will no longer be retail services, temporarily, at the 220 West Pearl Avenue location beginning today.
The lights were turned off Thursday afternoon at the retail center, which offers mailing services, and sells packing supplies and postage. Customers tugged at the locked door before reading the taped-up signs sending people to Jackson’s main post office on 1070 Maple Way for mailing needs.
A courtesy door will be available for package pickups only from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday — and if they have enough staffing, Saturday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Signs state that all mail and packages will continue to be delivered to P.O. boxes and parcel lockers downtown. P.O. boxes will still be accessible 24/7.
High cost of living
James Boxrud, communications specials with the U.S. Postal Service [USPS] for Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska, said the retail closure is temporary.
“We really want to apologize. We know that we have not met the expectations of service that we’re supposed to give to our community,” Boxrud said. “Right now, we don’t have the staffing to kind of keep everything open and everything flowing.”
Boxrud said that USPS is looking to other regions to try and find employees to come to Jackson.
“We’ve sent out an email blast to every office, over 600 of them between Colorado and Wyoming,” Boxrud said. “And this is what we’ve done in the past, basically asking for help from other offices. We’ll put them up in a hotel.”
Boxrud is encouraging people interested in working with the postal service to apply.
“You start day one as a federal employee, getting all the federal benefits that are included with that, with sick and health and vision and days off and holiday pay,” Boxrund said. “We start out at $52,000 a year. If you work more than 40 hours, which you most likely would up there in Jackson, you get an overtime rate on top of that.”
But Boxrud said that they recently held a USPS hiring job fair in Jackson and didn’t get any applicants. And he said that housing prices in the region may be a limiting factor.
Boxrud said one of Jackson’s USPS supervisors, who is acting postmaster, lives in Idaho Falls.
“We find this in other resort towns, also throughout the West. Cost of living sometimes prohibits us from finding people for the salary that we are offering,” Boxrud said.
Residents can still apply for post office boxes at the downtown location using the USPS website, but will need to go to the Maple Way location to show their I.D.
Boxrud said the aim is to get the downtown Jackson retail space back running before winter, their busiest season.