Post office will close Stateline branch

It's official. Mail for 1,000 Stateline box holders needs a new home.

The Stateline Post Office will close March 31 to make room for drainage basins to handle stormwater runoff as part of the Park Avenue Redevelopment Project.

At that time, the lease agreement between South Lake Tahoe and the U.S. Postal Service ends.

"We are very sorry about this forced disruption in service," South Lake Tahoe Postmaster Mike Benson said. "My staff and I will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for our customers."

The Postal Service has agreed to move box holders about two miles away to the newly remodeled Bijou station at 3368 Sandy Way. There, 1,000 post office boxes will accommodate the transplants for the same annual rate users pay for service at Stateline -- from $28 to $50 a year.

All mail service from Stateline will be conducted out of the Bijou station.

Benson reminds postal customers they may also obtain service at a home with a mailbox.

But many people have expressed no desire to have street delivery.

Ann Burke would rather drive in the snow to get her mail than negotiate the berm outside her house.

Stilll, she has the choice.

"At least I have a car. I feel for the people who don't have a car," she said Thursday.

One box holder circulated an unsuccessful petition to keep the branch open.

"At least we tried," Burke said.

Some are taking it in stride better than others.

"It's too bad," Shirley Queirolo said, adding the Bijou station is "farther away and more crowded."

Benson and his staff will host an open house at the Bijou station 7 p.m. Jan. 16 to address any customer concerns.

The Postal Service was looking for a new location in the Stateline area, but the Denver regional office was unable to find a suitable spot.

"As far as I know, I don't think they're looking for a new location," Benson said, even though the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's master plan mandates a post office at Stateline.

The modular units of the Stateline branch, located on Fern Road near the Crescent V Shopping Center, will be pulled out in the spring. Demolition is planned for the old building next door and the Swiss Village Motel.

The city, with help from the California Tahoe Conservancy, will put in landscaping alongside the drainage basins. Part of the plan calls for either sod or native plants from the curb to the sidewalk, Public Works Director Brad Vidro said Thursday.


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