Residents fear 20-mile round trips to post office may be permanent

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EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. -- It's not that the mail doesn't come to Edwardsville, it just doesn't come to the Edwardsville Mobile Home Park.

It never has. Not in rain, nor sleet, nor snow. The 500 people who live here go to the post office to pick up their mail. At least they did until March 11. That's the day a car plowed into the back of the building with such force, "it blew out the front window and it's been closed ever since," said Celia Mohler who lives in the park with her two granddaughters.

Now Mohler and her neighbors must make the 20-mile round trip drive to a post office in Kansas City, Kansas for their mail. Ms. Mohler considers herself lucky because she's got a car. Some of her neighbors can't drive, and even those who do say the extra gas is a burden on their budgets.

Resident Carl Schmidt is furious.

"We have to recognize the fact that all of us who live here have needs and wants, but what is basic is we need mail delivery," Schmidt said.

But no work has begun to rebuild the post office and folks here fear it will never reopen.

"We've written letters. We've made phone calls, but no answer," Schmidt said.

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called the US Postal Service and spokesman Richard Watkins told us the Post Office is waiting on structural inspection reports. He couldn't tell us when the Post Office would reopen.

To make life easier for those living in the mobile home park, Watkins said the U.S. Postal Service has offered to supply and install 40 cluster mail boxes. All the park has to provide is the cement pad they sit on, but the owners of the park weren't interested, Watkins said.

To find out why, FOX 4 Problem Solvers met with park manager Brenda Foreman, who is also stuck driving 20 miles every day to get her own mail. Foreman said the corporate owners of the mobile home park, Sun Communities in Southfield, Mich., are still hoping the Edwardsville Post Office will reopen. And if it doesn't?

"That's up to corporate," Foreman said. "It's not my decision."

FOX 4 Problem Solvers called the corporate headquarters and spoke with Sun Communities Regional Vice President Tom Carpenter, who said it had not ruled out the possibility of installing mail boxes on the property, but would prefer to have the Edwardsville Post Office reopened.

Carpenter said Sun Communities is now waiting, like everyone else, to find out the fate of the Edwardsville Post Office before making a final decision.

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