A spokesman for the United States Postal Service is saying the town of Ismay may soon have a post office active again in the community.
And it could be by the end of the month.
The town lost its post office in early January when a fire destroyed the building which was being leased by the USPS.
That prompted the town postmistress and the service to be temporarily located to Plevna.
According to James Boxrud, a communications specialist for the Sioux Falls Postal District which includes the Dakotas and Montana, there was a community meeting Monday night in Ismay. “They approved putting temporary cluster boxes in the community center as a temporary solution. People will be able to get their mail and won’t have to drive all the way (to Plevna),” he said. “I am not sure what kind of mailbox system we are going to put in. We’ll give keys to the residents and things like that.
We have parcel boxes that we use in smaller post offices that we are able to put up and be secure.”
But the turnaround time could be quick for Ismay residents.
“That will happen pretty darn quick, actually. That will probably happen within the next week,” Boxrud said. “We don’t want our customers to have to drive about 20 miles to the next town (Plevna). We want to reduce that hassle for our customers, too.”
There are still some things the USPS will have to work out like how to have people purchase stamps using the website USPS.com to buy their stamps, he explained.
Another method would be for the carriers to deliver envelopes to each customer and people write a check and put the envelope back for the carrier to pick up, he explained. “If they needed 100 stamps, they could just put a check in the envelope to be picked up. The carrier grabs that and fills it the next day.”
One of the complications to restoring service in Ismay was the USPS had been leasing the property, according to Boxrude. “Because it is not our property, we can’t put a modular (single-wide) temporary post office on that property. We do that for facilities that we own, not for facilities that we lease.”
Sometimes, replacing a post office can be the start of a long process, Boxrud explained.
He said that he is waiting for official word whether or not the owners of the building plan to rebuild.