Mountain post office closure a ‘done deal’
by Alicia K. Gosselin
‘Changing times’ cited as delivery moves to community mailboxes in three weeks’ time
MOUNTAIN – Residents in Mountain will soon see the village’s
long-standing post office permanently close late next month, after
multiple unsuccessful attempts by Canada Post officials to hire a
formal postmaster for the small-town operation.
The confirmed closing date of the office is Thurs., July 23, with 78
customers being forced to move their post office boxes into community
mailboxes that will be spread throughout the village.
Parcels will be delivered as usual to the community mailboxes, and
anything that cannot be delivered to the mailboxes will be redirected
to South Mountain’s Canada Post office.
John Caines, a spokesperson for Canada Post, said that the reason for the closure “goes back a-ways.”
The Mountain-based location opened in October 1981, with the original
postmaster (whose name has not been released officially) holding the
position steady until his retirement in 2012. Since then, the location
has been stamped with several temporary employees to keep it going,
despite it being run out of a “postmaster-provided location.”
According to Caines, it was a business decision that needed to be made.
“We made several attempts [in 2013, 2014, and most recently in
February] to permanently fill the position of postmaster, but there
were no successful candidates… We had to move on,” said Caines. “There
will be customer notices [to] be handed out, and they should be aware
anytime soon now. They’ll be given keys to the boxes, and learn which
box is theirs.”
While right now customers only have access to their mail boxes during
opening hours, the community boxes will be available at all times.
Caine also noted that rural mail delivery would not be affected.
Mayor Eric Duncan, born and raised in South Mountain, said that Canada
Post officials gave Township of North Dundas council members the heads
up about the closure last week.
“I suggested that they might try and look at some other options – maybe
there’s another spot up the way that might work,” said Duncan. “But
unfortunately, it’s the changing times, and it’s not our decision. Mail
volumes are down all over the place.”
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