After 125 years of dedicated service, the Carroll Post Office in Carroll, Man. has officially closed its doors to the dismay of local residents.
The community’s post office was established in 1892 before undergoing several changes, including in location. After being unable to find a suitable replacement for long-time Postmistress Sandy Roy, who retired last fall, Canada Post announced the post office would be permanently shuttered.
“We tried everything we could to keep the office in Carroll, but despite everyone’s best attempts, a solution could not be found,” Canada Post local area superintendent Paul Grier told the Souris Plaindealer this August. “We always try and work with the community to find the best solution, but in this case it just didn’t work, and we were forced to go ahead and install the group mailboxes.”
For reference, the largest community within an 80-kilometre radius of Carroll is Brandon, Man., which is located about 25 kilometres to the north of Carroll and has a population of 46,100 people. The next largest community is North Rolette, N.D., which is located about 75 kilometres to the south of Carroll and has a population of only 3,700 people.
NEARLY 50 LOCAL RESIDENTS
Since Aug. 8, the nearly 50 local residents have accessed their mail via a group mailbox, which are commonly referred to as “superboxes.”
“It was fortunate that the former postmaster allowed us to use the facility for as long as she did, and we appreciate it, but the new owners did not want it there,” Grier told the Souris Plaindealer. “We met with the community and with council and we understand that no one wants to lose a paying position in their town, but with no other alternatives available, we had no choice.”
Canada Post specified any candidates replacing Roy will be responsible for “rent or lease charges, heating, lighting, cleaning, routine general maintenance, snow removal, municipal taxes, and the necessary property and liability insurance coverage” and must be able to supply premises accessible to persons with disabilities.
Some residents suggested these expectations were “unrealistic” while Grier agreed it would be difficult to meet all of the Crown corporation’s requirements and remain a viable business.
“Carroll is a low mail volume community and the job has low hours, so we understand why this wouldn’t work,” he told the Souris Plaindealer. “If there had been a place such as a restaurant or another place of business that could have provided space, that’s when it works best, but with that option not available, it brings us to where we are today with Carroll having a super mailbox.”