LAKE PLACID — The mail delivering centers or cluster boxes have been removed from downtown Lake Placid, but the town council and a business owner were still reeling Monday from the surprise move from the postmaster that briefly ended door-to-door mail delivery to downtown businesses.
At Monday’s town council meeting, Town Administrator Phil Williams said an email from Lake Placid Postmaster Tonya Schmidt stated that mail delivery will go back to being door-to-door.
Councilman Steve Bastardi noted that the cluster boxes on Interlake Boulevard and at the county building were removed.
Councilwoman Debra Worley noted the swift and unannounced change in mail delivery.
After the cluster boxes were installed, she received an envelope from the post office, but “It didn’t even tell me where the box was or didn’t even tell me when my mail was stopping; it was unbelievable,” Worley said.
When people collect their mail at cluster boxes it causes traffic and parking issues and confusion because it’s a mail distribution center and where do you put that in downtown,” she said.
Councilman Ray Royce made a motion to notify the post office that the town council prefers door-to-door mail delivery to the businesses in Lake Placid and that the post office should notify the town prior to any proposed changes.
Council unanimously approved the motion.
Randolph Giller, owner of Precision Hearing on East Interlake Boulevard, explained to council members the problems the cluster boxes created for his business.
The winter residents who are now up north mail him hearing aides for repair, he said. With door-to-door delivery he can sign for packages while he is at work.
But with the cluster boxes, he had to close his store to get his mail, Giller said. A notice from the post office would inform him that a package requires a signature, but it would be on the mail truck so he would have to go to the post office the next day to sign for the package.
Commenting on the quick change to the cluster boxes, he said, “the post office just did this on their own; they didn’t talk to the town.”
When he received a mail box key in the mail there was no information, Giller said.
“I had an envelope with a key and a number,” he said. There was no information stating that on a certain date he had to go to a location to pick up his mail.
“For four days I didn’t get mail because I didn’t know where to go,” he said. “I finally went down to the post office and asked, ‘what do I do with this?” referring to the key.
Giller suggested that council “look at the big picture” the next time the post office proposes something like this again.