The Route 66 Association of Missouri has taken the Devil's Elbow post office on as a cause, asking people to answer a survey from USPS to show the importance of the post office to the Route 66 community.
Route 66 Association representative Tonya Pike attended the meeting held at Sheldon's Market last Friday to express concerns about how closure or reduced hours would affect Route 66 tourism.
Pike asked USPS manager of postal operations Michael Darling if USPS was taking into consideration the impact reduced hours could have on tourism revenue for the post office.
Darling said he didn't know if consideration was given to the issue, but did say that if revenue picked up reconsideration of reduced hours of operation may occur.
USPS sent out surveys prior to the meeting asking residents what they would prefer of the options available to cut costs in the Devil's Elbow location. Of 157 surveys, 57 were returned with 95 percent of those in favor of realignment of hours.
The other options included going to strictly delivery, Sheldon's becoming a Village Post Office, or moving all services to the next nearest post office, which would be St. Robert.
After the meeting, Darling handed out more surveys to those present, nviting them to mail the surveys back by Friday, Nov. 2 and agreeing that non-residents could fill out the survey. Some attendees expressed concern that the short return time of a week would hurt the numbers of returned surveys, but Pike was assured that late returns would be noted.
Pike believes the post office is an important part of Route 66 tourism and Devil's Elbow postmaster Lona Zeigenbein agrees.
Zeigenbein reports that people send her mail from all over the world and stop in the post office just to receive the Devil's Elbow postmark.
Pike said foreigners consider sending mail on Route 66 “part of the Route 66 experience.” She wrote on the Route 66 Association of Missouri's website, “If you are in a foreign country, we especially need your help!”
Pike said she believes receiving surveys from people in foreign countries will help prove the value of the post office to foreign visitors which may in turn sway Darling to leaving the hours for the Devil's Elbow location as they are currently.