This Old Post Office: OIG says post offices are in need of upkeep and repair

SteveBlog

USPS OIG: It makes no difference what part of the country you’re in, post offices nationwide are in need of upkeep and repair. A majority of post office lobbies we reviewed in the Eastern Area have many of the same problems found in other areas.

We are nearly done with our series of audits on postal retail facility conditions in all seven U.S. Postal Service areas, which we reviewed to determine if USPS management is adhering to building maintenance and to standards for safety, security standards, and employee working conditions. Problems in the Eastern Area post offices were similar to other areas and included:

  • More than 60 percent of facilities reviewed had building safety and security issues as well as potential Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations.
  • Almost half of facilities had cleanliness and maintenance issues.
  • Nearly 70 percent did not maintain a customer complaint log or monitor how promptly complaints are resolved.

Our previous audits done over the past year found that building appearance problems ranged from mold and signs of rodent and bug infestation to poor landscaping and foliage growing inside the facility. Other problems included deteriorating metal or wood on door frames, filthy exhaust or ventilation fans, and exposed furnace fires.

We found that the conditions were due, in some cases, to landlords failing to perform requested repairs, or failing to complete the repairs. In other cases, local management said competing priorities interfered with general maintenance and repairs or following up on customer complaints. And at times, local postal management blamed budget constraints.

Local management began taking corrective action on certain issues raised in all the reports, in particular on putting up safety posters, unblocking obstructed doors and exits, and securing unlocked vehicles. We made a series of recommendations on developing a process to improve coordination among facilities personnel, managers at post offices, and lessors to resolve repair issues in a timely fashion.

Improving facility conditions is important, of course, from a safety and security perspective. It’s also important from a strategic one. The post office is the business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up look at postal operations that many customers get. Post offices are the Postal Service’s “face” to the public. Their appearance directly affects the USPS public image.  Read more.

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Fawn Grove, PA, residents want their post office back

SteveBlog

York Daily Record: Some residents of Fawn Grove, Penn., population 456, are clamoring to get their post office back.

The Fawn Grove Post Office, formerly located at 7 E. Main St. at the main crossroads of the small burg in southern York County, has been closed a year. It opened at that location, according to the U.S. Postal Service, in 1961.

Council President Gordon McFadden said on Monday that he and others in the community began campaigning for a replacement post office soon after the one they had closed.

“We tried for a long time,” McFadden said. “And, finally we gave up.

“Then, they (the USPS) contacted us. It was very pleasant to get that call.”

That call, McFadden said, came last week.

Karen Mazurkiewicz, of USPS Corporate Communications for the central Pennsylvania and western New York Districts, said the Fawn Grove office was closed by an emergency suspension because of water, structural and safety issues posing potential hazards to customers and employees. Read more.

(Photo credit: ydr.com)

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USPS closes historic Pulaski, VA, post office citing safety reasons

SteveBlog

People in southwest Virginia who tried to go to their local post office Thursday are feeling frustrated after they received an unwanted surprise.

The United States Postal Service issued an emergency suspension in Pulaski, closing down the building for safety reasons.

The post office will be closed starting Friday. Many people didn’t find out until making their routine trip to the post office Thursday. Johnny Howlett, a Pulaski resident, said he is outraged by the short notice.

“It galls me to no ends because they just drop it on you like a bomb, and it’s obvious that they well-planned this in advance. They had letters ready for you, contingencies, plans,” Howlett said.

The U.S. Postal Service posted an emergency suspension notice on the doors and handed out letters to all residents with P.O. boxes stating that the office would close within 24 hours.

“It really upsets this town because there are so many people that have to walk to this post office to get here. This is the county seat. Can you imagine a county seat that doesn’t have a post office?” Howlett said.

The letters gave a vague reason for the closure, stating 100-year-old building was a safety concern.

USPS spokesperson Tad Kelley said in an email to WSLS 10 that the building would be checked for mold, among other issues. Kelley did not cite a specific reason for the closure.  Read more.

According to the USPS facilities report, the Pulaski, Virginia, post office was built in 1917. The building is part of the Pulaski Historic Commercial District, listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

UPDATE: WDBJ17 reports that the Pulaski Post Office was closed due to a federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaint from an employee last month.  The complaint cited apparent mold issues, lead paint, and broken asbestos floor tiles in the building.

(Photo: Pulaski VA PO, wsis.com)

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Lingering odor shuts down historic post office in Moline, IL

SteveBlog

qctimes.com: An unknown odor noticed Thursday morning in the Moline, IL, Post Office caused the building at 514 17th St. to close its doors to the public and temporarily suspend services, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed.

“Until we’re able to determine the source of that (odor), it’s hard to guess when services will be restored,” said Stacy St. John, communication specialist for the United States Postal Service in Kansas City.

She could not describe the stench that raised the air quality concerns.

In the meantime, operations have been relocated to two other USPS locations in the Illinois Quad-Cities.  Read more.

According to the USPS facilities report, the Moline post office is owned by the USPS, and it was built in 1937.  It’s eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

(Photo: Postoffice freak.com)

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CPWU Summer 2017 newsletter

SteveBlog

Communities and Postal Workers United (CPWU) has published its Summer 2017 Newsletter.  It features articles about the APWU & Mail Handler’s fight against job & service cuts, worker protests against management abuse, homeowners fighting against cluster boxes, and what will happen after the moratorium on out-sourcing retail services expires.  Read the newsletter here.

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