Oilton Residents Frustrated About Paying For Mail Service

Thursday, February 20th 2020, 7:03 pm
By: Amy Avery

People in Oilton are upset because they say they're being forced to pay for post office boxes, even though the postal service doesn't deliver to their homes.

Some said it not only costs them extra, but also keeps them from getting credit cards and impacts their ability to rent cars because they only have a P.O. Box. 

"That extra $80 is my grand kids getting a Christmas every year,” said Oilton resident Tony Hall. “That’s how important that $80 is to me."

Tony Hall tells me he's lived in Oilton for 10 years now.

He said people living in town have always paid for a P.O. Box, but now that he's living on a fixed income, it's getting difficult to make ends meet.

"Now since I'm disabled, I can't do that anymore,” said Hall. “I've got to count for every penny I get."

Hall said his street address is recognized by the city and the county, just not by the postal service.

Because of that, he said he had to list his cousin's address to apply for a credit card.

“We have to commit perjury saying we live in another town over with an address so we can get stuff recognized and shipped to us,” said Hall.

Oilton City Clerk Abigail Parnell said the city recognizes addresses when people pay for utilities, but residents must also list their P.O. Box to get service.

"We have to be able to mail them their bill," said Parnell.

Parnell said she's also concerned about the tax revenue the city is already missing out on because of online shopping.

"If the site requires them to enter their physical address then they are going to have to enter a friend's who may not live in the area, so we aren’t getting those sales tax dollars," said Parnell.

Parnell said some businesses do get Fed-Ex or USPS delivery to their addresses, but some business owners tell News on 6 their packages will sometimes get dropped off at the wrong address because the GPS doesn’t recognize their location.

Hall said he’s also tried to order items online to save money.

He said he can have items shipped to his P.O. Box, but then you only have a certain amount of time to pick them up during business hours, before they send them back.

“I’d love to get dog food off of Chewy.com, but I can’t because they don’t recognize my address,” said Hall.

The United States Postal Service said they provide one free form of delivery to every home and business.               

Since Oilton doesn't have rural mail service, the only way residents can get free delivery is to set up a mailbox along the rural route for Jennings.               

Hall said the postmaster has also told him this before, and he said it’s not practical.

“There's a thousand plus people in this town,” said Hall. “Are they going to have a thousand mailboxes lined down the highway? That doesn’t make sense to me."

Anyone interested in putting up their own mailbox can contact the local postmaster for details.

The following is a statement from USPS:

“As an integral part of the communities we serve, the Postal Service strives every day to provide excellent service to our valued customers. Regarding mail delivery in the Oilton, OK, community, it should be noted that the Postal Service provides one free form of delivery to every residential and business address. In this specific case, the free form of delivery service for Oilton, OK, residents is provided by the Jennings, OK, Post Office. Residents who wish to receive this service must erect a rural-type mailbox on the carrier’s line of travel, in a location specified by the Postmaster. Additionally, the Postmaster must approve the request.  Customers who opt for this form of delivery must contact the county to coordinate an address adjustment, if appropriate.  The Postal Service is not required to adhere to municipal boundaries for mail delivery. If customers prefer to receive their mail at a P. O. Box, they may do so at the current rental fee. We urge customers with concerns or questions to contact the Postal Service directly, so immediate steps can be taken to 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.”

Hall said in the meantime, he’s also contacted state representatives hoping they’ll be able to help fix the problem.

Creek County Commissioners say they have their own 911 mapping system in conjunction with the city of Oilton, so addresses are recognized if someone calls 911 for an emergency.

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