Temporary solution for Grasmere Post Office, future uncertain

Temporary solution for Grasmere Post Office, future uncertain

Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament Rob Morrison says he’s hoping for a positive outcome

For nearly a month, the Grasmere Post Office has been out of service at its former location. A temporary location for parcel delivery has been set up at the Grasmere Community Hall.

Mailboxes have also been installed along the highway by the Grasmere General Store, however the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has voiced their disapproval for this location as it will easily become buried by the snow plow.

Since November 1, the Grasmere post office has been closed due to a disagreement between Canada Post and the owners of the building. The long-time operators of the post office were not able to reach an agreement with Canada Post regarding costs associated with running the business.

The Free Press previously reported that the sum of money received monthly from Canada Post did not cover the cost of operating the building and property.

Look back: Feud with Canada Post causes post office to close its doors

Heath and Barbara Slee, owners of the building, explained to The Free Press that the inability to negotiate a ‘fair and reasonable lease of our premises’ left them with no choice but to evict the corporation.

With the next closest post office 44km away in Jaffray, residents of Grasmere and surrounding areas would be forced to travel to send a package.

In the November 2019 RDEK board highlights, plans were highlighted to send a letter to Canada Post on behalf of the regional government. The RDEK explained that their letter would urge the Crown corporation to ‘have a serious look’ at the fee structure for rural post offices.

RDEK Area B Director Stan Doehle said that in conversation with a Canada Post representative in Vancouver, he was told they would look into the matter but has since heard nothing since.

“We’re asking for proper funding to go towards the post office at the Community Hall in Grasmere, so we could make that a permanent location, and get the mailboxes moved from the temporary location at the Grasmere Store over to the Community Hall,” said Doehle.

In addition, Doehle said the RDEK has requested proper funding for the new location. Currently Canada Post pays $127 per month in rent, which Doehle said is unacceptable.

“We’re just trying to make sure there’s a viable business that can come of this whole thing,” he said. “If there is no postal service in Grasmere, it’s a 100km round trip to Jaffray.”

With online shopping a solution for isolated residents in rural communities, Doehle said the post office is an important asset to both the Grasmere residents, residents over the border in the United States, as well as members of the Tobacco Plains Indian Band, located close by.

“It’s real important,” said Doehle. “People still deliver letters, there’s cheques from the government, there’s still a lot of commerce that’s done through the mail service. And then with online shopping, it’s huge.”

He added that the RDEK’s concerns stemmed from a previous history of postal closures in Elko and Galloway. They said they would like to see a permanent solution for Grasmere’s post office.

“We’re hoping for a good outcome, but at this point we’ve had a brief conversation out of Vancouver and they assured us they’d get back, but at this point we haven’t heard what the solution is going to be,” he said.

Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament Rob Morrison says he hopes to help arrange and sit in on a town hall meeting in the early new year between the local postmaster, Canada Post representatives, and members of the community, to discuss solutions.

Morrison said he’s hoping for a positive outcome.

“In small communities such as Grasmere, which is just one of many, the post office (is the) place where people meet, have fun and talk,” he said.

Morrison said he understands one of the main issues which brought this situation about was the inadequate funding being paid to the building owners by Canada Post. That being said, Morrison is hopeful.

“It sounds like the community is going to get a post office,” he said. “It’s just a matter of – should we go back to where we were and pay a fair price, because I know that (in) a lot of these communities, the people who have the post offices are not in it to make money, they just want to have it as a central area for people to visit.

“That’s all they want – just the cost. They don’t want to make any money, they just want to pay for the cost,” Morrison added.

Morrison proposed that instead of moving the post office permanently and being forced to fix the damage done to the previous location, to use those thousands of dollars to help support and sustain the business.

“Why not put the money into just paying for the cost? Snow removal is one issue… the heat, the minimum costs,” he said.

Morrison hopes that at the town hall meeting, projected to take place in the first two weeks of January, all parties will be able to come to an agreement on an easy fix, and help return things to the way they were.



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Temporary solution for Grasmere Post Office, future uncertain

Just Posted

(File Photo)
Sparwood accepting submissions for 2021 Street Art Banner Program

Artwork depicting a love for Sparwood’s community and heritage will be accepted until Feb. 19

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(File photo)
Interior Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Teck’s Elk Valley operations over

48 cases were linked to three Teck locations in the Elk Valley

Joanna and Aysha Haines opened their business, Drift and Sonder, on Jan. 22. (Soranne Floarea)
New businesses popping up in Fernie despite pandemic headwinds

More businesses in Fernie have opened than closed their doors since the pandemic began

(File photo)
Sparwood backs calls to declare Canadian overdose crisis a national public health emergency

Paramedics across B.C. responded to more overdose calls in 2020 than ever before

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read