Why is it taking so long to get a mailbox key?

Here’s another example of the growing pains residents of Far East El Paso are experiencing.

An exasperated KFOX14 viewer named Crystal sent me an email with this simple plea at the end, "There has to be a more efficient way to handle our mail."

Crystal wrote that she recently bought a home in Far East El Paso and has been waiting since November for her mailbox key. She said what was supposed to be a six-to-eight week wait is now more than three months.

But Crystal said the worst part is having to pick up her mail at the George Dieter post office, where she typically has to wait in line for more than an hour to pick up her mail each Saturday morning.

I took Crystal's complaints to the U.S. Postal Service's spokesman for Texas, Sam Bolen. He wrote back, "We sincerely apologize for any service issues that some customers in the rapidly growing East El Paso area may have experienced."

Bolen said local postal managers are working closely with the developers who are building many new neighborhoods in Far East El Paso to provide centralized mail delivery to residents through neighborhood mailboxes. The Postal Service calls them “cluster box units” or CBUs. He said Crystal's CBU should be installed within the next two to three weeks.

In addition, he said, local postal managers have reached out to Crystal to offer their own apology to her, and to see if there's a temporary solution to help her get her mail in a more timely fashion.

Bolen also said they're trying to install the new neighborhood mailboxes as quickly as possible in an effort to reduce the long lines at the post office.

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