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Mailbox Removed from Community Center

Post Office says box is not used enough.

Linda Barlock knew that the Postal Service planned to remove the mailbox in front of the Community Center, but she didn’t know when until after the box was gone.

Barlock, director of the Potomac Community Center, was surprised on March 4 when someone who wanted to use the box came in asking where it had gone.

Earlier in the week, Barlock had been notified that the box was to be removed when a sign was posted on it, but the workers who removed the box did not notify the center as they carted it off.

Barlock questions the removal of the box. “It may not be the heaviest used box, but the people who are here use it,” she said. “There really is no other place [to drop off mail] between the post office on River Road and Rockville.”

“There’s always a postal truck there,” said Alan Cohen, a member of the board of the Community Center. Cohen thinks that the expense of keeping the box there would have been minimal, especially since the Community Center gets a regular mail delivery.

He also points out that letter carriers frequently use the center. “We like them there and they use the center,” Cohen said.

James Boykin, postmaster of the Potomac Post Office said that the postal service conducted a feasibility study. “It did not merit a daily pickup,” Boykin said. “It wasn’t even close.”

According to postal regulations, a mailbox must have an daily average of 25 pieces of mail. The daily average at the Community Center mailbox was unavailable at presstime.

Barlock questions when the study was done. If it was done during a time when none of the center’s programs were running, she notes that the amount of mail would be lower than when the center is being used more heavily.

Barlock has been contacted by several other people who have suggested that she start a petition drive to get the box back.

At this point, she plans to take the only avenue left to her, filing a written complaint to get the box reinstated.

“We’re not done fighting,” she said.