Glade Park waits for new post office
What might be one of the more scenic post office locations in the country sits unoccupied on the windswept flats of Glade Park.
The U.S. Postal Service says a carefully constructed pad that now gets occasional emergency use as a helipad will get its new post office soon.
Glade Park residents say they’ve heard all that before.
Glade Park has been waiting since 2007 for a permanent post office, one that would replace the old one in the Glade Park Store, which was removed in 2006. That was when the Postal Service severed its relationship with the store.
The Postal Service is working, in fact, to bring in a trailer to be set on the pad, which would become the new permanent Glade Park Post Office, Postal Service spokesman Al DeSarro said.
A problem, however, has cropped up.
There is an emergency need for a post office structure in the small town of Como in Park County, and the Glade Park trailer happens to fit the bill for the needs of the Postal Service and Como.
So, Como is going to get the trailer on a temporary basis until a new lease can be established in Como, DeSarro said.
“Our plan is definitely to take this trailer to be installed at Glade Park,” he said.
May delivery assured
Mesa County spent about $29,000 building the pad, which is ready for utility connections for the new trailer. It’s also about a half-mile from the small trailer that serves as the temporary post office. The trailer is still on its wheels next to the community center.
The pad on which the new trailer would sit lies just west of the Glade Park Volunteer Fire Department with plenty of room for parking. To the north of the pad, the tips of the Bookcliffs are just visible over the piñon and sage while to the south the Uncompahgre uplift heaves skyward.
The new trailer should be in place “not later than May, but there could be a chance of it happening earlier than that,” DeSarro said.
Deb Moorland and several other Glade Park residents gathered at the Glade Park Community Center last week said they’d rather have their permanent trailer now.
“There’s a trailer with our name on it that should come up here,” Moorland said. Moorland runs the website http://www.glade-park.com.
Glade Park was told once that the Postal Service would construct a small building for the community’s post office, but that promise never came through, Glade Park resident Susan Treece said.
“And then they reneged on that deal,” Treece said.
Now with the trailer bound for Como instead of Glade Park, “we’re being reneged on twice,” Treece said.
The small temporary trailer also falls short of meeting the needs of disabled people, rancher Dori Van Loan said.
Without a post office that’s fully accessible, disabled customers who need help getting inside have to show up at the trailer when a contract carrier is present or be accompanied by someone else, “or give them your key” to the post-office box, Van Loan said.
An older Glade Park resident had mentioned the importance of accessibility to her, Van Loan said.
Van Loan and her husband, Jay, however, have their own reasons for wanting the new trailer to be installed as soon as possible.
Not enough boxes
It’s a 40-mile round trip from their ranch to Glade Park, which is one thing. Without a full-service station, that means they have to go to Grand Junction to send and receive large packages and do other business with the Postal Service. That’s a 60-mile round trip.
The Van Loans had to do all their business in Grand Junction when the post office in the Glade Park Store was closed, interrupting nearly a century of uninterrupted postal service there.
Postal officials set up a special window for Glade Park customers and tried other ways to help, but even then, “It was a bit of a fiasco,” Jay Van Loan said.
The small trailer has only 280 post boxes, too few for the growing community, Jay Van Loan said. About 20 people have rented boxes in Grand Junction because of the lack of space on Glade Park, Van Loan said.
The wait for the trailer will be worthwhile, DeSarro said.
The trailer is being equipped for lights and electricity, services not originally contemplated for the Glade Park trailer, DeSarro said.
“We’re spending some bucks on this,” he said.
Sending the new trailer to Como first makes Glade Park residents “really suspicious,” Moorland said. “We don’t get any kind of consistent message from the post office.”
Though Glade Park residents empathize with Como residents, Moorland said, they fear that once the trailer is set in Como, “we don’t think we’ll ever get it back.”