The retail space in the Sundance Plaza post office will remain closed. The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission ruled against an appeal of closing the branch.

Photo by John F. Russell

The retail space in the Sundance Plaza post office will remain closed. The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission ruled against an appeal of closing the branch.

Retail space at Sundance post office in Steamboat to remain closed

PO boxes will stay in place for now at Sundance Plaza post office

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— The retail space in the Sun­dance Plaza post office will remain closed after the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission ruled against an appeal of its closing.

The commission said that because the retail services were moving 1.3 miles down the road, to the main Steamboat Springs post office, the decision to stop most services at Sundance Plaza was not considered a closing. The ruling also cited the possibility of a new post office in the city, a plan that has been scrapped.

The petition, filed by Don Ciavarra, requested that the U.S. Postal Service decision to stop the retail space at Sundance Plaza be overturned. On April 27, the commission ruled that the closing of that service did not constitute a violation of the code that regulates post office closings.

“The Commission is dismissing the petition because the actions taken by the Postal Service represent a rearrangement of retail facilities in the community, and thus (the code regarding closings) is inapplicable,” the ruling states.

Sundance at Fish Creek Manager Bob Larson, who was involved in the petition to keep the post office fully functional and who submitted petitions with more than 2,000 signatures to state senators, said the result is disappointing.

“Right now, we partially won the battle with the post office, in the sense that at least they didn’t move everything downtown where the parking area and the ingress/egress is inadequate,” he said. “I’m disappointed with the service portion, but it’s better than it would have been.”

Larson said the building that housed the post office would be separated into two units. The post office boxes will remain on one part, and the other part will be prepared for rental. Larson said he would like to have an independent postal service company rent the space and contract with the U.S. Post Office to manage the boxes there, but so far, there has not been an operator willing and able to take over that job.

Al DeSarro, a Denver-based Postal Service spokesman, said the plans to create a consolidated post office in town have fallen through, too, because the contractor opted out. He said the Postal Service is willing to consider new proposals for the project but that nothing has been decided.

He said there are no plans to put any other amenities, such as a stamp vending machine, in the Sundance location. He said the Postal Service has essentially removed all vending machines around the country because of the high upkeep costs, and instead they are selling stamps at supermarkets and other locations.

The Sundance post office signed a three-year lease with the facility, so the 2,500 boxes will remain there until at least 2013.

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