(Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

The Petersburg borough assembly hopes to talk with the U.S. Postal Service about improving service at the Petersburg post office.

It’s been plagued by short staffing, reduced hours and long lines at the counter off and on for several years. The lines were especially long in the lead up to Christmas this year as customers sought to pick up packages. In December the assembly voted down a different resolution asking for home delivery of the U.S. mail. Assembly members didn’t think that route would address the problems.

Assembly member Jeff Meucci this month proposed a new statement seeking a formal discussion with the Postal Service.

“I’m not advocating for mail delivery or drop boxes but at least starting a conversation with the Postal Service somewhere I don’t even know where, Juneau or Alaska or Washington D.C., just to see if there’s things that we can do to make service better here,” Meucci said.

The resolution suggests self-help kiosks so customers can avoid waiting in line or collection boxes in the downtown area. The assembly agreed to add language calling for adequate staffing at the local post office.

Mayor Mark Jensen voted against the statement and said the staffing problems are not limited to the local post office.

“I think a lot of this has to do just like with every other business around the country is the pandemic we’re in, the COVID situation, people just can’t find employees,” Jensen said. “It’s a big issue in town with many businesses and fishing boats and right down the line.”

He was joined in voting no by assembly member Bob Lynn but it passed 5-2.

Also Monday the assembly approved spending $1,035,922 for engineering firm McMillen Jacobs to complete engineering and project support for the rebuild of the hydroelectric plant at Blind Slough. The borough is hoping that work will be finished by the fall of 2023.