By Rachel Sander
The United States Postal Service has decided to close the Bronx’s Crotona Park Post Office at 1682 Boston Road and a spokesperson warned that more closures could be on the way.
Van Nest Post Office at 715 Morris Park Ave., Oak Point at 839 East 149 Street, as well as the processing unit of the Bronx General Post Office on 149th and Grand Concourse are all on the "consolidation" list, which means they are on the chopping block. A decision could be made on Van Nest and Oak Point in a matter of weeks, but spokesperson Darleen Reid said the decision on whether or not to close the Bronx processing plant was still more than six months away.
Last week, the Norwood News reported on the reopening of the Mosholu Post Office on Jerome Avenue. At the end of the article, Reid said: “The public should know we are looking at stations and branches nationwide and in the Bronx for closures. The volume of mail is plummeting and we need to save money any way we can and one way we can do this is by consolidation.”
Today, Reid confirmed Crotona Park Station will close on April 22. Reid assured us that a public service announcement will be made to inform the public of closure on website and posted at the office. She said this decision is final.
According to the USPS, “by law, Post Offices cannot be closed for solely economic reasons. Proximity to other Post Offices, stations or branches as well as expanded access locations are key to any decision.”
Reid explained that there are internal studies are being conducted to evaluate which post offices will be closed. “It's a 57-step process,” she said. She explained that in addition, proximity to locations where customers can buy stamps such as APCs, grocery stores, Costco and Office Depot is also considered.
This is not a new problem for residents in the Bronx. In 2009, Bedford Park residents fought to save the Botanical Station branch from being closed. A Norwood News article from December 2009 explained how residents successfully petitioned and rallied to save the local office. In the fall of 2008, the USPS said it would be cutting $7 billion dollars from its operating budget and were considering closing 15 city offices, including seven in the Bronx.
Since December 2009, the Crotona Park, Van Nest, and Oak Point offices have been on the consolidation list. Reid confirmed that even after the Crotona Park closing, Van Nest and Oak Point still remain on the list.
“We are waiting to hear from headquarters to get approval for closure,” Reid said. She added that the USPS had not received the written document approving the closures but she explains that she expects it will be a matter of weeks until the final decisions are made.
As for the Bronx General Post Office, Reid explained that the USPS is considering moving the mail processing unit to Morgan Distribution Center in Manhattan, which the Boogiedowner recently noted.
The retail unit there would remain open in the Bronx. Reid said the USPS is still in the study phase and it will probably take another six months before making a decision.
When the decision is made about the Bronx General Post Office, Reid says there will be a public meeting for the residents to come voice their opinions. She added that if the closure happens, “no one will lose their job.” She did say, however, that workers may have to be relocated to a job outside the Bronx. “They will be reassigned to other vacant jobs in New York or New Jersey, if the wish,” Reid said.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
By Rachel Sander