U.S. Postal service wants to extend its reach with added carrier service around Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

U.S. Postal service wants to extend its reach with added carrier service around Lake Tahoe

Neither snow, ice, rain nor sleet stops the U.S. Postal Service from following through with a concept.

Twenty years in the making, the U.S. Postal Service wants to extend its reach with added carrier service around Lake Tahoe.

Currently, residents and businesses at the South Shore of Lake Tahoe and Incline Village receive the rural service, amounting to about 7,000 addresses. A master plan is being developed between the postal service and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to outline the expansion process, with the hopes of eventually delivering mail to about 50,000 more addressees, project consultant Sue Rae Irelan said.

The outreach is the topic of a public hearing tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the El Dorado County Library on Rufus Allen Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe. Another hearing set for the same time flanks the lake Thursday at the North Tahoe Art Center on North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City.

“Our real goal is we’re trying to reduce the miles people drive around the Lake Tahoe Basin,” Irelan said, referring to post office trips.

The end result: to have mail available from approximately 35 new contract carriers in every service area in the region. Currently, there are 17 post offices dotting the perimeter of the lake.

The postal service hopes to accomplish the three-tiered expansion plan during the next 15 years. The first target areas during the next five years include mail delivery to businesses in Tahoe City and Zephyr Cove, where a new post office in the Round Hill Plaza should be large enough to accommodate a growing rural community.

The latter business community expressed a high degree of interest, according to a survey conducted in 1998. A lesser interest came from the residential community, Irelan indicated, recognizing why.

Some residents fear they’ll have to relinquish their post office boxes, and others don’t want to clear the snow from their mailboxes.

“Under no scenario will the post office not allow them to get their mail from a post office box, if that’s how they choose to get it,” she said.

Carnelian Bay, Tahoe Vista and Kings Beach are due for residential and business delivery over the next 10 years.

In creating its work-in-progress, the postal service is exploring a variety of options to accommodate the expansion of carrier service.

One involves the possible expansion of the main post office in South Lake Tahoe. But by the time it reaches its full capacity, this option could be at least 15 years away.

“Fifteen years in this business is like a lifetime for the post office,” she said.

Public hearings regarding expanding carrier service are scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at the El Dorado County Library in South Lake Tahoe. The second hearing is also slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the North Tahoe Art Center in Tahoe City.

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