Vandalism may shorten P.O. lobby hours

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
by

The Free Press

Norman C. Bouwie II, postmaster of the Hillsboro Post Office, was confronted with tar foot prints on the floors of the post office entrance and lobby the morning of Dec. 12.

The entrance and lobby are normally open after normal business hours, when the post office is closed.

The recent incident of tar foot prints came on the heels of vandalism during the Thanksgiving holiday. The vandalism also occurred after regular business hours.

Summing up recent events in a press release, Bouwie said, “Postal forms have been torn and thrown in the letter drop, parcel-locker keys were bent inside the locker, and black tar was brought into the lobby floor causing considerable time and funds to remove it.”

On the day of the tar incident, Bouwie said he declined to report the incident to the police, but did report the vandalism during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We’re not going to call this in this time,” Bouwie said of the tar prints.

By 9:45 a.m., Dec. 12, post-office maintenance worker Harold Woelk had cleaned off the tar prints throughout the lobby area and began to scrub the tar off of the rug in the entrance.

“I’m trying to clean this up with Dawn detergent,” Woelk said. “Then, we’re going to take it to the car wash.”

Citing the need to protect postal property and provide security for customers’ mail, Bouwie said in the press release: “Since I cannot identify the person or persons responsible, I may in the future find it necessary to secure the post office lobby after normal business hours each day.”

If the post office has another incident of vandalism in the lobby and entrance, Bouwie said, the new lobby hours will be changed to 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to noon, Saturday.

“I truly regret if I have to make these changes as I know the lobby being available after hours is a convenience to post office box customers,” Bouwie said in the press release.

“I appreciate your understanding in this matter and ask you to contact me at 620-947-3631 if you have any question or concerns.”

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