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Delivery issues: Residents say mail continues to be a problem

Nevada City mail trucks leave the Coyote Street Post Office in Nevada City one morning earlier this month. Mail issues are not new to the area, with residents complaining over the last two years.
Photo: Elias Funez

When Darla Kidwell received a notification on her phone that a package was just delivered, she hopped out of bed right away, having experienced delivery issues in the past.

Several weeks and complaints later, she said that package is still nowhere to be found.

Kidwell is just one of many county residents, particularly in Nevada City, who say their packages were labeled delivered but never arrived.



She’s since had to file a grievance with the U.S. Postal Service, dispute the charge with her bank, complain to the merchant who shipped the package and the company that sold the item.

A postal customer takes a parcel to the Nevada City Post Office earlier this month.
Photo: Elias Funez

“I’m fighting everybody to get this package that I had to pay $89 for,” Kidwell said.



Mail issues are not new to the area, with residents complaining over the last two years about mail arriving late at night, is delivered to their neighbors, is labeled undeliverable, or doesn’t come at all.

The problems eventually led to a former delivery woman informally un-retiring to help out, and a protest-turned-meeting with post office officials.

But now, they say in the past few months to a year, things have only gotten worse.

Last month the U.S. Postal Service acknowledged complaints from communities across the country and created the National Joint Task Force on Service Performance, which held its first meeting March 22.

“Recognizing that issues in certain facilities across the country continue to hamper service performance, we have come together to form a National Joint Task Force on Service Performance to identify and craft solutions to improve service at specific locations within the network,” stated a press release.

The local post office couldn’t be reached for comment after multiple attempts.

According to U.S. Postal Service data, its air carrier on time performance dropped to just 58% in December. Despite rebounding to around 75% in January, performance plummeted again to just 55% in February.

Last month the postal service also outlined some changes it made in August and its plans for the next decade. The plans include pivoting to a more regional approach by converting national distribution centers to regional ones, and consolidating 67 postal districts into 50 that roughly align with each state.

The plan seeks to save $160 billion over 10 years to avoid projected losses of tens of billions each year, in part, by cutting office hours, increasing prices and slowing delivery estimates.

“Since 2007, we have recorded significant net losses each year,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a release. “Absent substantial changes, our financial losses will continue to widen, and our ability to invest in the future of the organization will be severely curtailed.”

After signing up for package notifications, switching to P.O. Boxes, and filing complaints, some residents have lost hope.

“I have no faith that my mail is going to be delivered, and I have no faith that I’m going to get the mail sent to me,” said Christian Van Allen, who said he’s had problems for over two years.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

A mail slot in a door of Nevada City’s historic district awaits its next delivery. Nevada City residents have been complaining of mail that’s late or never arrives.
Photo: Elias Funez

 


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