Mayor Brenda Franklin said the U.S. Postal Service has asked the city of St. Mary about utilizing flood property off Route U and owned by the city for the construction of a cluster box unit that would hold mail for Kaskaskia residents.
Franklin said she discussed the request with her husband, Aldmerman Paul Franklin, prior to the meeting.
“He thinks that we shouldn’t approve or disprove it until we get the people on the island, their opinion on it and whether they would want that,” Brenda Franklin said.
Alderman Clyde Cassoutt agreed. He didn’t see the advantage for residents and he didn’t want to be part of trying to force it on island residents.
Aldermen Dennis Bovey said he spoke with some residents who didn’t have a problem with the proposal.
“The post office is going to do what the post office is going to do,” Bovey said. “The only reason the post office is going to us is because it’s city-owned property.”
The city still would maintain the property around the unit, which Cassoutt said should not be a problem.Brenda Franklin went on to say the recent flooding of the Mississippi River prevented delivery of the mail for a period of time. The mail had to be stored in Ste. Genevieve’s post office until it was able to be delivered. Though it is in Illinois, Kaskaskia is served by the St. Mary’s ZIP 63673 code.
The aldermen opted to table any decision until they received more input from Kaskaskia residents.
Brenda Franklin said she also expected to receive more information from the postmaster.Paul Franklin said access to the island has been flooded before, and he saw the cluster box unit proposal as part of the Postal Service’s move toward reductions in rural areas. The post office in St. Mary saw a reduction in hours last year as part of the nationwide plan to cut expenses.
“I’m leaning toward they’re trying to cut costs,” Paul Franklin said. “They don’t want to mess with the island. They just want to dump it and run. But I believe the people should have a say-so.”