Veteran asks: Why no mailbox? Landlord blames city
No one’s quite sure why Ken Jackson can’t get his mail delivered.
Jackson, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, is one of 60 residents of the Glenwood Green Apartments. The complex, just up the hill from the Meadows Shopping Center, is one of the few in the area without mailboxes. The apartment owner encourages residents to purchase a post office box.
For some, the extra cost and the trip to the downtown post office might be a minor inconvenience, but Jackson relies on the U.S. Postal Service for prescriptions and medical supplies from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He wasn’t aware that would be an issue until he was already in his apartment.
“It wasn’t until a couple days after I moved in that I even thought about asking where the mailboxes were,” he said.
The problem was more the costs and mobility constraints. A P.O. box didn’t always work for deliveries that required a signature, and on at least one occasion a much-needed device was sent back to Grand Junction.
Jackson made several attempts to address the issue through the post office and building management. With a painful and invasive procedure on his shoulder looming, he submitted a letter to the Post Independent.
“I didn’t want to go public with this thing, but this has been going on for over a year,” he said.
“This is a bad situation that should not exist,” he added. “It’s not rocket surgery. Mail delivery in the United States is not a privilege, it’s a right.”
The problem is, no one’s entirely sure who’s holding things up.
In February, Jackson received a letter from the Monroe Group, which owns the apartments.
“Because Glenwood Green is located on a rural route, the post office was unwilling to extend its rural delivery route to the clubhouse,” it explained. “The post office did offer to extend their route to an adjacent lot (privately owned, located south … of our lot). However, the master developer would not allow us to install mailboxes on this lot, leaving us no choice but to notify tenants to sign up for a post office box to receive their mail.”
According to USPS spokesman David Rupert, however, the suggested location was in the public right of way, not on private property.
“With the newer developments, we stick to the right of way rather than going inside the property,” Rupert said. “As soon as boxes go up, we’ll be happy to start delivering.”
Property manager Lou White addressed the discrepancy.
“Monroe Group is totally willing to put up mailboxes,” she said. “When Monroe Group contacted the city of Glenwood, they refused to let us put up mailboxes there.”
Andrew McGregor, Community Development Director for the city, doesn’t remember it quite that way.
“We talked about trying to find a place off the road where they could get access. We want to have a safe pull-out,” he said. “Our sense was that it was dropped. We never exhausted all the options. We can always pick it up again.”
As far as Jackson is concerned, it’s up to the Monroe Group to make that happen.
“The onus falls on the property owners, and they’re just passing the buck,” he said. “I will pursue this as far as is necessary and have the full support of all my neighbors, who are in the same boat as me.”
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Glenwood Springs’ officials continue to ask residents and visitors to use caution particularly around river access points within the city’s numerous parks.