Push for better Hunts Point postal service having some early results

With both side doors blocked off, visitors to the Manida Street post office in Hunts Point could only enter though the driveway for years—one of a slew of issues locals would like fixed.
Photo by Ben Kochman

Hunt’s Point locals are hoping that the borough’s new Postmaster will hear their pleas to improve service at what they claim is the borough’s worst post office.

Community Board 2 met with new acting Postmaster Lilliam – most recently the postmaster of Puerto Rico – on April 3 to send a clear message: enough is enough!

Positive changes

“This is our tax money,” said Rafael Salamanca Jr, CB 2’s district manager. “A lot of these problems should have been fixed years ago.”

Since the meeting, some progress has been made, he noted. The Post Office on Manida Street has reopened its side entrances and fixed a front door that had been broken.

The facility also now has mailing supplies in the waiting area. Previously, visitors would have to wait in line, only to then be given the necessary supplies and forms to fill in, and then have to wait in line again.

“We’re very satisfied with the fact that she was able to address those simple issues,” said Salamanca.

Big gripes remain

But now that the Board has Rodriguez’ attention, they won’t rest until other issues are tackled as well. One of the board’s biggest gripes are major waiting times at the Southern Boulevard post office branch, which they say is severely understaffed.

Another common complaint is slow snow removal. The Post Office works with a private contractor to clean the snow, but Salamanca says that the city Department of Sanitation had to step in and clean the mess instead, after community complaints.

“It seems like they never made it to our side of the district,” Salamanca said. “Maybe they should hire a new contractor.”

‘special’ delivery

Mail delivery in the nabe has also been unreliable. One local told the Times-Reporter that he receives so much mail addressed to others that he often does his own unofficial rounds around the neighborhood, dropping off the mail himself.

“I get mail from all over the place and it’s unbelievable,” said Roland Lopez, who lives on Dawson Street. “Maybe they can only do so much, and I don’t know where the problem is, but something is happening, and it has not been taken care of.”

Lopez, who serves on the community board and attended the recent meeting with Rodriguez, said he was optimistic that she could help right the ship —if she sticks around long enough.

Rodriguez is the Bronx’s fourth postmaster in as many years.

“We have constant turnover in this position,” said Salamanca Jr., “ and I don’t know why.”

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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