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Q I’ve heard there’s been some damage to the parking lot at the new post office. What kind of damage is it, and do they know who did it?

A Postmaster Norman Bouwie said the post office was inspected at its one-year anniversary this month, and damage was noted to the sidewalks, curbs and railing as a result of children riding their skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles on the west side of the building. This type of activity is chipping the paint off and cracking the curbs and sidewalks, Bouwie said.

“They’re using the railings for dare-devil stuff,” he said. “And eventually those railings are going to come loose or come apart, and there’s going to be a serious accident.”

Bouwie said he has witnessed the activity, and several customers have seen children abusing the facility during the day and after hours.

“About two weeks ago, (someone) saw about 15 kids over there at one time after hours,” he said.

The post office recently installed no-trespassing signs, and postal-service lawyers have indicated those violating the law could be fined a minimum of $50 or 30 days in jail, Bouwie said. He is asking parents to talk to their children and ban them from skating, rollerblading or riding their bicycles on the post-office property.

“Right now, I’m waiting to see the reaction in the community and whether the parents are going to help or not,” he said. “We don’t want to prosecute-that’s the last resort. But we don’t want to see anybody get hurt or any further damage to the property.”

Repairing the damage would come out of post office money, Bouwie said, and eventually something like this leads to higher postage. “That’s down the road, but that’s one of the side effects.”

Do you have a question about Daily Life? Send it to the Free Press, 116 S. Main, Hillsboro, KS 67063; e-mail: staff@hillsborofreepress.com

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