An updated list that released some branches and retail stations under consideration for “consolidation” by the United States Postal Service (USPS) continues to press for the closing of the Van Nest postal station.
On Friday, November 20, USPS announced that only 241 branches and stations remain under review. Three Bronx locations remain on the list: Crotona Park, Oak Point and Van Nest.
“To shore up its finances, the Postal Service is looking at every aspect of its business to economize,” noted Steven Forte, USPS senior vice president of operations. “Reducing over-capacity in retail and delivery operations is a smart business move. Every effort is being made to maintain and improve customer access to postal services.”
More than 3,300 branches and stations were examined at the start of the review process in the early summer.
On Wednesday, September 23 the Postal Regulatory Commission held a public hearing on the consolidations at Fordham University. Many residents were present to explain that Bronxites depend on the postal stations. Bronx seniors, many of whom are unfamiliar with technology and unable to take advantage of online services, are particularly dependent.
Senator Jeff Klein described the devastating effect that the closure of the postal stations would have on the Bronx, Van Nest included.
“It's extremely disappointing that the Van Nest post office is still on the closure list,” Klein said. “The Van Nest community has been working diligently to revitalize the lower strip of Morris Park and this announcement significantly sets us back.”
Without the post office, many residents of Van Nest would have difficulty traveling to next closest post office, nearly a mile away, Klein said. USPS, which suffered a loss of $3.8 billion at the end of its 2009 fiscal year, has launched new initiatives in an effort to raise revenue. These include Flat Rate Priority Mail pricing, charging one fee for packages that fix in a certain size box regardless of weight or destination and the sale of greeting cards at 500 select Post Offices.
No final decisions have been made for the consolidation, USPS announced.