Grand Isle Select Board asks congressional delegation for help with mail delays

In a letter to Vermont’s congressional delegation members are asking senators Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch and congresswoman Becca Balint to find a solution t
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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GRAND ISLE, Vt. (WCAX) - Mail delivery delays persist in Grand Isle. Some residents complain they’re only getting mail once or maybe twice a week or even less often.

The postal worker shortage is an ongoing issue throughout the region.

The Grand Isle Select Board is taking matters into its own hands. In a letter to Vermont’s congressional delegation, members are asking Sens. Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch and Rep. Becca Balint to find a solution on the federal level.

“[Congresswoman Balint] and Senator Welch have been remarkably responsive in helping us because it’s not a local issue, it’s a federal issue,” Grand Isle Select Board Vice Chair Josie Leavitt said. “Every email I send them, they get in contact with the person, they say, would you like us to trace this? Would you like us to go back and find it?”

There are four mail routes in Grand Isle, and Leavitt said, right now, only some of the employees on staff are qualified to work them.

“One of the routes is a professional carrier route, so you already have to be in the system for that,” Leavitt said. “One’s a regular rural carrier, but it takes a couple of months to get onboarded and go through your background check, so things are just moving slowly.”

In a statement to WCAX News, USPS spokesperson Stephen Doherty wrote: “We are aggressively recruiting throughout Vermont. Because of the incredible dedication and flexibility of our workforce, we’re typically able to move personnel from a neighboring community to cover short term vacancies. However, the summer vacation season does put a strain on that flexibility.”

Doherty said those interested in applying to become mail carriers can go on to to learn more.

Leavitt said she’s thankful to the employees waking up early and leaving late to fill the gaps.

“I have the utmost faith in our postmaster and our postal workers in Grand Isle, this is not about them,” Leavitt said. “No one in Grand Isle is unhappy with the people who work at the post office, we’re just unhappy with the lack of people who are working at the post office.”