July 18, 2012

New postmaster takes over in Arnegard

By Lauren Billing
Farmer Staff Writer

“I loved it,” says Sharon Prestangen, former postmaster of the Arnegard Post Office, of her time with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Beginning in 1987, Prestangen worked as a part-time flexible clerk at the Watford City Post Office. In 1998, she was promoted to postmaster and transferred to the Arnegard Post Office.
“I will greatly, greatly miss the close-knit community in Arnegard,” says Prestangen. “I created lots of friendships while I was there and that is absolutely what I will miss most.”
But after 25 years of working in Watford City and Arnegard, Prestangen is saying goodbye to the USPS.
“It was a wonderful, rewarding career,” says Prestangen. “I was just ready for something different and I’m loving my new job.”
Prestangen has transferred federal agencies and now is the office manager for the U.S. Forest Service located south of Watford City.
While many in Arnegard are sad to see Prestangen go, they can breathe a sigh of relief that their post office has remained open for business, something that was not always a sure thing.
Last September, the USPS sent representatives to Arnegard to discuss closing their location. Arnegard, along with Grassy Butte, Mandaree and Cartwright, had been placed on the possible closure list because of their lack of mail volume or because they are operating at a loss.
The Arnegard Post Office has remained open, however, and its mail is in good hands as Brenda Bostick takes the reins as the officer in charge.
Bostick started working at the Arnegard Post Office in the beginning of June and trained for a week with Prestangen before taking over.
“She [Prestangen] was so good to work and train with,” says Bostick. “She really explained everything and made the transition very easy.”
Bostick first experienced Prestangen from the other side of the counter, however, as a customer.
Bostick and her husband, Larry Bostick, who moved from Tulsa, Okla., had a post office box for a year before Bostick started working for the USPS.
“Sharon really is fantastic,” says Bostick. “I just hope that I can serve the people of Arnegard as well as she did!”
Bostick is currently the only employee in the Arnegard Post Office, while the USPS continues to look for a postmaster relief person.
Hours for the Arnegard Post Office are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4:15 p.m. and on Saturday, 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.