PEYTON, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Peyton post office continues to be inundated with packages, three weeks after the busy holiday season, leading to residents going without mail for weeks.
Late Tuesday morning, workers wheeled out about 40 large carts from inside the post office filled to the brim with packages. They placed the carts in the back of the parking lot, sorted through the contents, and began to load their vehicles for the day.
Once the carriers left to start their routes, about half of the carts in the parking lot were still full, remaining outside, seemingly unattended.
One local carrier told 13 Investigates, the influx of packages, especially from Amazon, is causing delivery delays.
The Peyton post office is in a small, rural community about 25 miles northeast of Colorado Springs. Because of its location, Amazon doesn’t deliver its own packages. Instead, they are sent to the post office, which covers a wide swath of land, including the surrounding neighborhoods of Peyton and Falcon.
To compound the problem, the post office is facing a staffing shortage. The local carrier said the Peyton post office has 20 different routes. While it currently has 20 carriers, it only has one substitute driver. So if anyone calls in sick or quits, the post office falls behind.
Both the Peyton post office and USPS declined an interview, but James Boxrud, a spokesperson for USPS said via email, “We are aware of the concerns regarding inconsistent delivery out of the Peyton Post Office. Unfortunately, our current staffing levels have impacted this area and we have been unable to serve every customer every day. We apologize and pledge to do better.”
The staff shortage and the influx of packages have caused some mail to be delayed one to two weeks.
“We live out here in Callahan, and packages are taking up to a month, like some stuff we ordered from Amazon, and just regular mail,” said Joe Rodriguez. “It’s ridiculous.”
“We come to the post office here and they're short-staffed,” he said. “We got to wait like 30 minutes in line.”
David Culbertson used to wait days for his mail. Now he picks it up from the post office rather than getting it delivered.
“We were waiting days,” he said. “You could see it online where you're waiting for it. And then sometimes when it comes to a neighbor or we get the neighbor's mail. They lost a carrier, so let's just keep it here to be safe until we can figure out what's going on here.”
Other residents told 13 Investigates they have never had any mail or packages delayed. Some said the situation is improving following the holiday rush.
To alleviate the shortage, the post office has turned to carriers from nearby communities, including Pueblo.
“Our commitment is to make mail delivery more consistent,” said Boxrud via email. “Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to hire and deploy employees to serve this community. We will continue using our available resources, maximizing our local personnel, and augmenting from other locations around the state to help with the workload.”
The local carrier said the problem extends beyond the Peyton post office and that USPS needs to change its scheduling and hiring process. According to the carrier, substitutes are only hired to work one day a week, which is why there are so few.
Neither USPS nor the post office provided clear answers to how long the delays will last. And as the communities of Peyton and Falcon grow, the post office will only see more mail.