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Thu, Oct. 17

Postmaster details efforts to deliver mail during snowstorm

Jerry Gilberti feels like the Prescott Post Office is giving him a snow job.

Gilberti said he didn't get mail service for the last two days of 2010 and he's upset about it.

"From my viewpoint, it's inexcusable," he said. "If you went to restaurants around town, they were open and serving lunch, dinner and everything else. Medical people were in their offices. Everybody was there but the mail delivery people."

In the midst of a huge winter storm that dumped 5-12 inches of snow, freezing temperatures and a holiday weekend, Gilberti said he called the post office on the last Thursday and Friday of December and all he got was a recording explaining office hours. He then wrote a letter to The Daily Courier outlining his displeasure.

"My complaint is that the post office is supposed to get the mail through come rain, sleet, snow or mud," he said. "The (Pony) Express used to do it years ago; there's no reason why they couldn't."

Interim Prescott Postmaster Frank Watson can't understand the breakdown either.

Watson said his carriers hit the streets on that Thursday. There were some service interruptions Friday, and there was no delivery on the New Year's Day holiday.

"We didn't have any mail brought back on that route on either of those days," he said. "(Gilberti) may just not have had any mail. I mean, that's always a possibility."

Watson said anyone calling the office before 8:30 a.m. gets the voice recording, and he said none of his employees spoke with Gilberti.

"There's a lot of things that occurred that Thursday, Friday and the following week," he said.

Most of the mail interruptions were on rural routes, Watson said, adding that the day after the storm was intense.

"On that Friday I remember specifically that I, my supervisor and our contract mechanics went out and did over 30 vehicle recovers that were stuck in the snow and the ice," he said.

Watson urges people to make sure the area surrounding their mailbox, including driveways and sidewalks, are clear after every snowstorm.

"Every route goes out every day with all their mail. If they have to bring something back due to safety, either I or a supervisor goes out and we'll attempt it," he said. "We strive to get every piece delivered every day."

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