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Big city growth strains rural post office, frustrates residents

Residents who live in and around the town of Fulshear said they are frustrated with the U.S. Postal Service, as they believe it has not kept up with the population boom of the area.

Some of those concerns surfaced in pictures that show postal employees having to sort piles of mail outside of the post office, on the ground.

"If you live in Fulshear, it was in the country. There's no more country now," said Viola Randle, who has lived in the area her entire life.

Randle has seen Fulshear blossom from a quiet dot on the landscape to a veritable boomtown. Master planned communities, new schools and businesses are going up at a fast pace. That growth has put a strain on the area's small post office.

"We've had missing packages, we've had opened packages that we're delivered, some that were never delivered," said Weston Lakes resident Earlene Hopkins. “We have mail that was delivered soggy, even on days it didn’t rain.”

Hopkins became even more concerned about the strain on this post office when she saw, and snapped pictures of, postal employees having to sort and load up mail outside, on the ground.

"I thought, 'no wonder we have problems with our mail service'," she said.

“You don't blame the people who work here?” said KPRC Investigator Robert Arnold.

“Oh no, Heavens, no. I feel sorry for the clerks and all of the people who are the delivery people because they're doing the best they can,” she said.

Randle said the post office is just too small.

"If you don't have the space, what else can you do?" Randle said.

A small temporary building behind the post office looks as if the postal service tried to give the Fulshear post office a little extra space, but it is still not enough to handle the volume of packages and letters.

The USPS sent the following message in response: 

As an integral part of the communities we serve, the U.S. Postal Service considers the security and sanctity of mail as one of its highest priorities. In this instance, Fulshear Post Office is a very small facility which does not have a loading dock. To accommodate package growth, this is normal practice for Rural Carriers prior to delivery. Local management is aware and is committed to making continuing service improvements.  We urge any customers with concerns about their mail service to contact the Postal Service immediately so that we can look into and resolve those concerns promptly. Customers have a variety of options for contacting the Postal Service, including contacting their local Post Office, calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or visiting our website at www.usps.com/help.