Post office changes taking place

By Jeff Smith

The retail services space in Keystone that could be transferred to another location. Problems exist with parking and not having enough space for safely pull out into traffic.

The United States Postal Service is considering relocating the retail services space in Keystone. A public meeting was held before the Keystone Town Board meeting on March 7.

The point of the meeting was to express how there is a need for change, address the tentative decision to relocate retail services, outline the proposal for relocation, solicit written input on the proposal and answer questions.

Currently, there are four locations that the USPS is looking at to keep the post office in Keystone and near the current one.

The first location they are looking at is the quonset hut behind the Borglum Story museum, the second ne is a little house in between Barlee’s and the Holy Terror plaza. The Mirror Maze building and a building in between the Keystone Country Store and the Big Thunder Family Bar and Grill is also being considered. At two of the locations, an old building would be torn down and a new one would be put in.

At the meeting, it was stated that the first choice was the quonset hut.

The “relocation project” does not only deal with finding the right location for the new post office. It will take time to prepare the new location for use as a post office and then transition the retail services to a new location. The postal service will continue to serve customers at the old location until a new location is chosen.

Greg Shelton, real estate specialist, said that he will accept any suggestions or any ideas of property to look at or comments about the properties that are under consideration.

On April 6, Shelton will have the letters from community members and use that input to make a recommendation to the vice president of facilities.

They are looking at places that are 900 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft. inside and that have the capability of  having a loading dock area.

Rich Camp, manager of post office operations out of Sioux Falls, said they obviously want the area with the most foot traffic and that is going to have the most tourists go to it.

Even with postcards, 3,000 people coming through a month will add up.

Camp said that there have been talks about keeping the post office open longer. The reason that it is not open longer is because of the amount of revenue the office receives.

Mike Proios, Keystone clerk, said the more packages they ship at the office the greater the revenue would be.

“Buying more stamps and not going to another post office to mail your boxes,” Proios said. “Keep it all in the community.”

There is the possibility of adding another box in town or having a facility with a drive-through system with the relocation.

The locations that they are looking at are not set in stone. The lease at the current location might be extended or it could be terminated with the creation of a new facility.

Shelton said they don’t want to have a location 10 years down the road where there is another problem with delivery.

The main reason for the move has to do with the delivery of the mail and the pick-up of mail.

“Right now the truck has to come into the street and the concern there is the traffic, especially in the summertime,” Shelton said.

Vehicles could run into the truck and injure the driver.

A new location would keep trucks out of the way of traffic. Another big thing that they are looking at is a space with more parking. They would like to have at least 13 parking spaces.

There used to be multiple parking spaces that were on the city street at the current location but the 1880 train has taken away some of that. If there were still three spaces that were available there might not even be a problem.