Crested Butte considers legal action to improve post office service

Determining that the issues with the Crested Butte Post Office are not getting better any time soon, the CB council on Monday, December 19 decided to see if any other Colorado mountain communities wanted to join them in assessing potential next steps, including possible litigation, to address problems that include long lines and paying for P.O. boxes.

“This is one of the issues people are most worked up about,” noted mayor Ian Billick. “Even if it’s not our problem, it is our problem.”

Town attorney Karl Hanlon said his research showed there are some legal options available to the town to hold the USPS to its mandate to “preserve regular and effective access to postal services in all communities, including those in rural areas or where post offices are not self-sustaining.” Legal claims would likely be made in front of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Hanlon said he has had discussions with representatives of law firm Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell, a federal administrative regulatory law firm based in Denver. That firm said it would take the case and the first step would be for them to prepare a legal memorandum analyzing the Crested Butte situation in detail. The memo would cost between $25,000 and $35,000. To proceed further with a “petition for review” in front of the PRC and deal with an expected appeal would cost between $225,000 and $275,000.


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