Post office stays

Faced with the loss of their post office Beaverdell residents come together to find a community solution.

JAKE BIANIC – Boundary Creek Times Reporter

With the ever-changing face of the world, it seems it’s getting harder and harder to be the “small community.” But we make it work, as demonstrated by the community of Beaverdell, which nearly lost their postal service.

Postmaster Rose Zitko took over the post office from her father, who unfortunately passed in May. He ran it out of his property in Beaverdell. With the passing of her father, Zitko and the post office have to leave the current location.

Zitko called for a community meeting on last Tuesday evening (Oct.7) at the Beaverdell Community Hall. She informed the community of the situation with Canada Post. She told them that she had phoned five other communities within B.C. that had moved their post offices and found out what the community needed to do.

“Because we are a rural post office, it is up to the postmaster to find premises. So it’s up to me,” Zitko said. “Canada Post gives me a small leasing allowance, it’s just under $180 a month. It isn’t really a lot for me to go rent somewhere, it’s kind of that tricky piece to find somewhere to be.”

Not only that, but the facility would have to accommodate wheelchair access, washrooms and insurance.

The meeting heard that Canada Post had laid down the terms: if they could not find a spot, they would close the postal service down. Once that happens, there’s a good chance they would not get it back.

Zitko is a member of the Canadian Postmaster & Assistants Association; a union representative came to Beaverdell and spoke to the community at the meeting, explaining what they would need for a new facility. They also gave the history of the rural postmaster.

Following the post office meeting, the Beaverdell Community Club meeting began and, of course, the post office was on their agenda. The community came to the conclusion that community property rather than a private property is the best option. The curling/skating rink has a modest lobby that meets all the criteria. The motion was put on the table, and was passed 32 votes for and five in favour of using the lobby for the post office.

All costs of the renovation and planning contracting are also Zitko’s responsibility. The community volunteered their time and labour, however, and plans are to fundraise to support the new office.