Long a nagging issue for Property Owners, the storage hassle associated with the Postal Facility is getting some much-needed relief.
Meet the Package Porch.
While delivering an immediate solution to the limitations of the Postal Facility, the Package Porch – in the lower level of the building that houses the Village Station meeting rooms – begs questions about access, available services and how it will work in conjunction with the Postal Facility.
Q: What is the purpose of the Package Porch?
A: With the limit in storage space in the Postal Facility, the POA created a new parcel center that could address perhaps the biggest mail-related issue in Big Canoe. The Package Porch allows for the collection, sorting and storage of all oversized and spillover packages for Property Owners to pick up.
Another challenge to the Postal Facility is that the timing of U.S. Postal employees’ presence varies daily. The Package Porch will have fixed hours weighted toward the afternoon so that when a parcel is ready for pickup, a Big Canoe staff member will be available to retrieve a package.
Q: What are its hours?
A: The new facility will be open from 1-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. These hours were selected in part to give those with daytime commitments the chance to get their packages at the end of their day.
Q: What happens at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 1?
A: A ribbon-cutting, the formal introduction of the facility to the community, and the first chance for Property Owners to pick up packages at the new location.
Q: How is it that the Package Porch, unlike the Postal Facility, can have a fixed schedule?
A: The Big Canoe POA staffs the Package Porch while the Postal Facility is operated by U.S. postal employees who work out of the U.S. Post Office in Jasper. Postal workers at the Postal Facility are in Big Canoe only when they have mail to deliver, which varies but is generally from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Q: Will all my packages get diverted to the Package Porch?
A: Not all of them. Just the overflow and larger parcels that don’t fit in the Postal Facility lockers. You will continue to receive smaller packages – and all envelopes and regular mail – at the Postal Facility.
Q: How will I know I have a delivery at the Package Porch?
A: A claim ticket will be placed in a Property Owner’s Postal Facility mailbox. The packages can then be retrieved by taking the ticket to the package center.
Q: So all I need is the ticket to get my package?
A: You will also be required to show an ID with your slip and to provide a signature when collecting a package.
Q: Did I see pictures of tables and chairs outside of the Package Porch?
A: You did indeed. Whether it was home to a restaurant or a general store, the building has long been an inviting gathering place with its covered porch. Aiming to continue that tradition, the facility will feature four outdoor café tables on the porch to create a place for folks to rest their feet, catch up with neighbors or just hang out.
Q: What was previously in the Package Porch?
A: The lower level of the building across from the Fire Station over the decades has been home to a general store, gas pumps, and an activity center for children. The upstairs area, now known as the Village Station, houses meeting rooms. In the past, the upper level was home to a gift shop and a succession of restaurants serving everything from Italian cuisine to Mexican food.
Q: Who will work in the new center?
A: Big Canoe staffers, led by a 27-year Postal Service veteran, will manage the new facility.
Q: What kind of parking does the new center have?
A: Unlike the hilly parking lot surrounding the Postal Facility, the Package Porch lot has a more forgiving, safer flat surface that will make transporting a big box from the building to a vehicle much easier. The lot has 41 parking spaces, including two with American with Disabilities Act specifications. The addition of newly painted lines designating the parking spaces, along with the installation of new wooden guardrails, was recently completed. Note that some construction equipment and materials – part of the ongoing Creek 9 rejuvenation project – will on occasion share a portion of the lot into the fall.
Q: Is there anywhere I should avoid parking?
A: Please do not park your vehicle in front of the loading dock on the north side of the building.
Q: Can Package Porch staff bring big boxes to my car?
A: Because of a range of issues including liability, Package Porch staff cannot carry packages for Property Owners.
Q: Is the claim slip that arrives in the mailbox the only way to know you have a package?
A: That is the main way we alert you to an arrival. However, we are exploring the possibility of adding alternate means of informing Property Owners of a parcel’s arrival.
Q: Will any additional services be added to the Package Porch?
A: There are no plans in place. For now, the center will just store and distribute the packages.
Please tell us how you like the new Package Porch. And as always, you can let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking the Ask the POA button on the POA website.
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