Mystery helper repaints post office bollards

A recently repainted parking bollard in the Cordova Post Office parking lot. (June 21, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

An unidentified person repainted four concrete bollards in the Cordova Post Office parking lot.

The repainting is thought to have occurred around early June. However, post office employees said they were uncertain of the exact date of the repainting because they often do not use the building’s front entrance. Post office employee April Beedle discovered the repainted bollards while bringing a customer’s packages to his car.

“It’s great!” Beedle said. “But the post office didn’t do it, and we didn’t pay anybody to do it. Somebody just took it upon themselves to do it.”

The deteriorated paintwork of the post office’s bollards was one of the maintenance issues U.S. Postal Service officials said they planned to address during 2021. However, before the USPS could act, Cordova’s vigilante refurbisher gave some of the bollards a coat of light-blue paint and stenciled them with a wheelchair symbol denoting parking for people with disabilities. Unexpected as it was, post office employees said it was a welcome gesture.

The Cordova Post Office’s flagpole, one of several features of the building in need of repair. Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

After discovering the repainted bollards, employees contacted local residents they thought might have been responsible. However, those residents denied involvement.

“No one’s confessed,” Beedle said. “I’m sure somebody out there knows, but I have no idea.”

Cordova City Council formally raised the issue of post office maintenance in October 2020, after a windstorm damaged one of the post office’s doors, requiring it to be propped closed with a trash can. After the city contacted USPS officials in Juneau, interior repairs began, including fixes to locks and door closing mechanisms. Planned refurbishments still to be completed include fixing the post office’s currently non-functional flagpole and, if necessary, changing the building’s outdoor lights. The USPS Alaska Maintenance Team is actively involved in repairs and updates to the Cordova Post Office, with all aspects of the project expected to be completed by the end of summer, USPS officials said.