Post Office in Panama, IL, is temporarily closed due to building conditions

SteveBlog

The Journal-News: Postal services at the Panama, Illinois, Post Office were suspended on Thursday, July 20, according to a letter that went out to postal patrons from Vicki Gourley, manager of post office operations in Wentzville, MO.

The letter described deficiencies in the building that necessitated the suspension of services.

“You can literally see daylight through the back wall,” Gourley told the newspaper on Tuesday.  “We’re working with the landlord now and hopefully we can get this resolved.”

The letter to postal patrons describes a leaking roof, rotting ceiling, and a settled foundation “allowing rodents and snakes to enter the building.” County information lists a property owner from Clarksdale, MS.

Gourley said the collection box at Panama is still in operation, but while other services are suspended, post office box customers may pick up their mail at the Sorento Post Office, 4.4 miles away.

Retail services are also available at the Donnellson Post Office, 3.1 miles away.

“If in the event we cannot reach an agreement on the repairs of the current location, a community meeting will be held to explain our plans and to solicit your comments concerning possible alternate means of providing postal and other services,” the letter to patrons states. Read more.

(Photo credit: Google Street Views)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Portland postal workers rally to save jobs and service

SteveBlog

Communities and Postal Workers United (CPWU) press release: Postal workers and customers rallied today at the Main Post Office in Portland to protest job cuts that are causing reductions in service to the public, including longer lines and phone calls unanswered at retail locations, and delay of mail delivery.

Postal management has so far cut dozens of jobs of retail and mail processing clerks in the Portland area this year. Dozens more are targeted as part of announced cuts that would reduce staffing by 12,000 nationwide.

A letter from APWU President Mark Dimondstein and National Postal Mail Handlers Union President Paul Hogrogian to Postmaster General Megan Brennan explained, “The cutting of an already skeletal workforce will not only cause massive disruption to the workforce but will cause further degradation of postal services for the American people throughout the country.”

While the Postal Service has experienced a decline in letter mail, the Postal Service has emerged as the mainstay of parcel delivery, as consumers move much of their retail purchases to online providers. The Postal Service has announced financial losses due to advance funding of retiree benefits that were mandated by Congress in 2006, but has been breaking even or making a profit on operations for the last five years.

July 26, also known as Postal Heritage Day, was chosen to kick off this campaign because it is the birthday of the U.S. Postal Service, which was chartered by the Continental Congress on July 26, 1775. Rally participants were served birthday cake with the words “Happy 242nd, USPS, Cut Cake Not Jobs” and the nation’s first postmaster general, Benjamin Franklin (played by retired letter carrier, David Medford), share words of wisdom:

We need a revolutionary Postmaster General who will fight for the postal service, against the tyranny of the privatizers, against the oppression of the union busters.  We need revolutionary postal workers who will spread the alarm to every corner of this nation.  We need a revolutionary Congress that will fight the tyranny of the 1%, that will fight the oppression of the corporate profiteers.  We need a revolutionized postal service that will deliver on-time, 6 days a week, door-to-door.  We need same day pickup and delivery.   We need post offices that are open at night.  We need post offices that provide banking services, one-stop government services, and internet access.  We need a postal service which will bind the nation together.  We, the people, have a Constitutionally mandated post office which we must defend and revolutionize for our children and our children’s children.” 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Post Office Relocation Will Be On Agenda For Next Board Meeting in St. Mary, MO

SteveBlog

Ste. Genevieve Herald: Representatives of the U.S. Postal Service requested a place on the agenda for the city of St, Mary Board of Aldermen meeting on Thursday, August 10, to discuss plans for relocating the post office in St, Mary, Missouri.

The Postal Service sent notification to city officials as well as public notices.  The meeting is set for 6 p.m.

The notice states the Postal Service “has been granted to acquire a new ground lease space consisting of 8,500 square feet for a new local retail modular building.”

It is seeking land to lease for 10 years — an initial five-year lease with a second five-year renewal term.

The St. Mary Post Office had been located in a portion of the Lawbaugh Building, 676 Second St., from April 2006 until the New Year’s Flood event of December 2015/January 2016.  The Postal Service placed temporary mailboxes in front of the former post office after last year’s flood.  Read more.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail