CB leading the way to get Postal Service to increase level of service

Organizing a coalition and looking at lawyers

[  By Mark Reaman  ]

As expected, the town of Crested Butte is preparing to possibly engage special legal representation to challenge the U.S. Postal Service over the level of service being provided to area residents. While no official vote has yet been taken to engage legal counsel over the matter, the hope is that other Colorado mountain towns and rural communities dealing with similar issues will participate in the legal action and costs.

The Crested Butte council looked over an engagement letter in their February 6 consent agenda with the law firm Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell that specializes in such legal proceedings. In a memo from Crested Butte town attorney Karl Hanlon, it was explained that the letter details what is involved in a “detailed claims analysis regarding the USPS and the failure of service in Crested Butte.”

The analysis is expected to cost about $25,000. Hanlon along with town manager Dara MacDonald, who is also the current president of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST), have reached out to other communities to see if there is interest in participating in the action and at least eight have indicated some level of interest. Hanlon’s memo indicated Silverthorne, Avon and Breckenridge have committed and other communities are still deciding.

The law firm stated in its letter that the town will be advised “on matters regarding a legal challenge to the U.S. Postal Service’s ineffective service in violation of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and potentially other federal laws, including litigation against the U.S. Postal Service and other matters….”

If the towns do pursue litigation after receiving the legal analysis, that would be a much more expensive endeavor. 

Council did not comment extensively on the matter but Crested Butte mayor Ian Billick said the goal was to ultimately create the structure to improve the USPS service to local citizens. 

Hanlon said given council and town board meeting schedules, he should know by the end of this week which other communities commit to participate in the legal proceedings.

In the meantime, the town continues to consider how to allow the USPS to utilize a piece of vacant land owned by the town. Known as the Cosentino property, the lot located on Sixth Street across from Gothic Field was purchased by the town about a year ago for $2 million and might ultimately be the location of a new and improved CB Post Office once the current lease on the Elk Avenue PO building expires in a few years. 

Check Also

CBMR construction along Westwall

Temporary trail closure By Kendra Walker While Crested Butte Mountain Resort is open for summer …