FRENCHBORO — After going without regular mail delivery for a month this spring, residents here once again are getting their bills, magazines and catalogues the same as everyone else.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has awarded a delivery contract to Bass Harbor resident Tom Rood. But the contract, awarded May 2, runs only through Oct. 15.
Rood also delivers mail in the summer to Great Gott Island, which has only seasonal residents.
Mail service to Frenchboro was cut from six days a week to two days as of March 31, when Louis “L.J.” Hopkins’ contract expired. He had carried the mail for both Swans Island and Frenchboro since 1989, when he took over from his mother, who began doing it in 1960.
The USPS said it could not renew Hopkins’ contract unless he agreed not to carry anything but the mail – no freight, groceries, medical prescriptions or UPS or FedEx packages. Hopkins said that would severely cut into his income and prevent him from providing a needed service for island residents.
During the month of April – between the end of Hopkins’ contract and the beginning of Rood’s – Frenchboro residents were getting their mail only on Wednesdays and Thursdays, when the Maine State Ferry goes to the island from Bass Harbor.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Frenchboro had 61 year-round residents.