December 9 - On Nov. 23, a notice on the Cottage Grove Post Office door announced the 24/7 lobby would now be open only during its retail business hours "due to ongoing criminal activity and to ensure the safety of customers and employees." The notice said, “We are working with law enforcement and the Postal Inspection Service to address the ongoing criminal activity and plan to have the PO Box lobby reopened as soon as [is] safely possible.”
Box holders who are unable to pick up their mail during the day are frustrated by the closure. Some needing after-hours access will likely have to use a box at the Creswell post office until the local situation is resolved. Individuals with information about criminal activity at the post office are encouraged to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
The closure has generated hundreds of comments on local social media pages linking the closure to the City of Cottage Grove’s newly-opened overflow site for unhoused individuals nearby.
Local post office staff did not want to make any further comment on the closure. The Cottage Grove Police Department is ready to respond to federal charges when they are forthcoming.
Dari-Mart Store Manager Dan Smith said there have not been any negative impacts on his store from the camp.
“We haven’t had any issues since the camp opened,” Smith said. “I arrive first thing in the morning and everything is normal. My night crew hasn’t reported any problems to me. The only impact we’ve had is our outside garbage can is now being emptied more often.”
According to City Manager Richard Meyers, the Cottage Grove City Council will be considering the full implementation materials of the overflow management plan at the Dec. 12 City Council meeting.