DDA declines Mt. Crested Butte request to fund postal annex

Q: “Is it a project the DDA would consider?” A: “No”

Mt. Crested Butte citizens will have to keep waiting for a post office. On Monday, the town’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) decided not to pursue funding a post office annex, after town manager Joe Fitzpatrick proposed the idea.



Fitzpatrick said Mt. Crested Butte used to have a post office with an 81225 zip code, in the Three Seasons Building but it was closed more than six years ago. Fitzpatrick said it “has been high on the list of Mt. Crested Butte citizens to have a post office up here again, or at least a box… It would save a lot of trips up and down the hill.”
Mt. Crested Butte residents have asked for a postal facility during planning meetings for the proposed Mountaineer Square North development, as well as in the town’s Five Year Financial Plan.
Fitzpatrick said it would likely be a long time before a full service post office could be built, but said a postal annex, similar to that in the Skyland or Crested Butte South subdivisions, could be built. “Somebody would have to build the building, buy the boxes and put the boxes in it, and then the Postal Service would deliver to it,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The question is, where do you find the money to do it, and is it a project the DDA would consider?” Fitzpatrick asked. He said the town has land available in the resort base area, but they hadn’t done enough work to tell how big a postal annex facility should be, how many boxes would be needed, and how much it would cost.
Fitzpatrick said if the DDA did not wish to fund a post office annex, he would have to look for funds elsewhere. Fitzpatrick said the Town Council is beginning to discuss the 2009 budget and may direct some money toward a postal facility, but nothing had been decided yet.
Several of the DDA board members didn’t think it was necessary for the Development Authority to fund a postal annex.
Board member Wendy Fisher asked if it would be possible to send mail from the annex. Fitzpatrick said there would be a drop box, but there would not be window service to send packages.
Fisher said full service wasn’t a big concern for her; she eventually finds a reason to head down to Crested Butte and hit the post office there. “I’m not hung up on it.”
DDA board member Sara Morgan agreed. She said some citizens had asked for the post office to create a sense of community in Mt. Crested Butte. Morgan didn’t feel a postal annex would create a sense of community “if it’s just four walls without a human being in it or a window.” Morgan said the postal annex seemed like a temporary facility, and could take money away from some of the DDA’s other commitments such as the proposed aquatic recreation center.
DDA member Michael Kraatz thought a postal facility should be part of a larger plan, “so it’s not just something that’s plunked down somewhere that serves a purpose for a short period of time.”
Fisher asked how many people use the annex facilities in Crested Butte South or Skyland.
DDA member Al Smith, the property owners association president in Crested Butte South, said, “We find we have to keep adding new boxes.” But Smith said there is a secure space where packages can be delivered in Crested Butte South, and it didn’t sound like that would be possible for the Mt. Crested Butte’s postal annex. Smith said the postal annex in Crested Butte South was popular. “I think it’s valuable in some way. People really do like to get their mail in Crested Butte South.”
Fitzpatrick asked again if the board was interested in funding a postal annex, but the consensus was no.
The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council’s first budget meeting will be on October 21.

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