Coralville, Tiffin experience multi-day mail delays with U.S. Postal Service understaffed

Community members in Coralville and Tiffin are experiencing up to seven days of mail delays from the U.S. Postal Service in the last week.


Dimia Burrell

The Coralville Post Office is seen on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.

Sabine Martin, News Editor

U.S. Postal Service mail has been delayed in Some Johnson County towns, including Coralville and Tiffin, causing some residents to not receive essential medications and utility bills.

Sherri Smith, a Tiffin resident who has lived in Iowa her whole life, said her husband went to the post office earlier this week after not receiving mail for seven days. She said her husband found out that the post office was 50 carriers short.

“What happens a lot is that we get our neighbor’s mail and they get ours… it’s got to be a joke because we never have the same carriers, which I get,” Smith said. “I understand they have had a lot of turnover and sickness and I feel sorry for them.”

Coralville filters mail for Tiffin, a town of about 4,000 people. The city of Tiffin posted on its Facebook page, alerting Postal Service Customers what to do if their city water bills are delayed by mail.

Smith said from her observations, there is a large elderly population in Tiffin who don’t pay their bills online or over the phone.

“This is where we get tax forms, we get bills in the mail,” she said. “What if someone needed their diabetes medicine or heart medicine and it’s stuck in the mail?”

Mark Inglett, USPS strategic communications representative, wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan that Postal Service local management is aware of delivery issues in Coralville. He wrote that the USPS workforce isn’t immune to the staffing impacts from COVID-19.

“We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and we are proud of the efforts of postal employees in Coralville and the nation, as they define essential public service every day,” he said.

Coralville Mayor Meghann Foster said she has had some personal experiences with the slow mail delivery.

“It is difficult when it is regular things we can expect in the mail,” Foster said. “I can empathize with a resident who would need medication. That is definitely problematic.”

Smith said one of her neighbors got in touch with the city administrator, who said they had not heard of the delivery issues. She said normally the mail is one to two days late, but never almost a week behind schedule.

“They’ve got to have a contingency plan,” she said. “The Postal Service is a federal entity. They need to communicate to their clients that they are having an issue locally, so it gives everyone an opportunity to contact their banks and pharmacies.”

Smith said when she lived in central Iowa earlier in her life, she never had an issue with mail delays. She said the mail delays were the worst this week.

“We were all talking about what we can do to help,” she said. “I don’t know if we need mail every day, but we need them to tell us what’s going on.”