May 9 Post Of­fice Meet­ing

Catron Courier - - Front Page - by Shannon Don­nelly

A meet­ing on May 9 at 5 PM at the Pie Town Com­mu­nity Cen­ter may de­cide the fate of Pie Town’s post of­fice.

On April 27, the US Postal Ser­vice closed the Pie Town post of­fice. Sev­eral rea­sons were given, in­clud­ing the build­ing was un­safe, there is a prob­lem with the lease, and re­pairs would not be made by the build­ing own­ers. The USPS has put up clus­ter boxes and keys are be­ing dis­trib­uted, this is af­ter the Ca­tron Com­mis­sion tabled per­mis­sion to in­stall such boxes. A lease has also been signed to pro­vide tem­po­rary postal ser­vice at Bill Pen­ning­ton’s build­ing on the corner of Hwy 60 and 603. The USPS has not pro­vided specifics of prob­lems with ei­ther the lease or the build­ing is­sues, and has said that the his­tor­i­cal postal boxes can­not re­main with Pie Town. This means Pie Town will lose one of its tourist at­trac­tions.

On May 9 at 5 PM a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the USPS will visit Pie Town. This meet­ing is im­por­tant not just to res­i­dents of Pie Town but to ru- ral com­mu­ni­ties. Savethe­p­ostof­ re­ports the USPS has been “tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend­ing” ser­vice in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across the US. The com­mu­ni­ties get clus­ter boxes, but never get a post of­fice back.

The Pie Town post of­fice has been in ser­vice since 1927, has been at its cur­rent location since the 1940s and has the old­est post boxes in New Mex­ico—which are now due to be taken from Pie Town. Tourists buy post cards from lo­cal shops just to get the Pie Town postal stamp. The post of­fice also serves hik­ers and bik­ers along the Con­ti­nen­tal Di­vide Trail who ship pack­ages to Gen­eral De­liv­ery to re­sup­ply them on the hike.

Sen­a­tors Hein­rich and Udall and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Pearce sent a signed let­ter to the Post Mas­ter Gen­eral to urge that Pie Town main­tains a per­ma­nent post of­fice in Pie Town. State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gail Armstrong and County Com­mis­sioner Anita Hand have also been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the USPS, and an ar­ti­cle ran in the ABQ Jour­nal on April 24.

Now it’s up to the May 9 meet­ing to show the USPS that ru­ral res­i­dents want to keep— and need—full postal ser­vice and their his­toric post boxes. Ev­ery­one in Ca­tron County can at­tend to en­sure the USPS knows that ru­ral postal ser­vice is vi­tal to this area. ◊●◊

For­mer post­mas­ter of Pie Town’s his­toric post of­fice Lola Al­bin (left) and her mother, Bil­lie Weathers, now de­ceased (right).

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