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West Town Block Steamed Over Sporadic to No Mail, Lost Packages

By Alisa Hauser | December 10, 2013 12:08pm
 Several residents on the 1400 block of West Ohio St. and the 500 block of North Noble have been complaining about sporadic, late and even no mail delivery at all.
Mail Troubles in West Town
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WEST TOWN — With the holiday season in full swing, several residents on a single block in West Town have been united in their gripes about sporadic, late and even no mail delivery, along with lost packages.

"What is the point of the post office if they don’t deliver the mail?" asked Maria Burnham, a resident in the 1400 block of West Ohio Street.

Burnham said that except for "sporadic priority mail deliveries," her entire block has not received regular mail in a week.

"Not even a piece of junk mail has graced our doorsteps," Burnham said in an email to DNAinfo Chicago Monday.

A U.S. Postal Service spokesman said the route currently does not have a regular carrier assigned to it but other carriers have been covering the block. The spokesman, Mark Reynolds, said the agency was investigating the complaints of poor mail service.

Christie Harris, who live in the same 6-unit apartment building as Burnham, confirmed her neighbor's complaints. A man who lives a few doors down from the apartment building but asked not to be named had one word for the mail service on their block: "Terrible."

Burnham is also trying to track a package.

"I still have a package sitting at the post office that the post office has not redelivered despite my repeated requests for them to do so," Burnham said.

Also waiting for package is Julie Riesco, owner Nini's Deli at 543 N. Noble St, at the southeast corner of Ohio and Noble Street.

Around 5:45 p.m. Monday, Riesco had used her hand to de-fog a circle in the window of her restaurant so she could keep a close eye on a mail carrier's truck parked on the street.

"I'm trying to find a package," Riesco said. The restaurant is closed Monday but she came in to help her son with cleaning and "just to see if [the package] would be delivered" and to try to speak with a mail carrier.

"It's frustrating," Riesco said, adding that the mail often does not come until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. and not at all on many Saturdays.

Annie Markese, a resident of the block for 33 years, said her mail has come as late as 9:30 p.m. on some days and on many Saturdays not at all. She is trying to get the post office to redeliver a package that they had attempted to deliver on Nov. 30. 

"I called them last week, Thursday, and they said someone will get back to me in 48 hours, to find out why they didn't redeliver it. They are supposed to do a second attempt," Markese said.

Markese said she fears that the package, which contains Christmas movies she plans to use as stocking stuffers, has been sent back to Best Buy.

In the past 20 years, Markese said that except for one female postal carrier who "lasted about a year," there has been no regular mail carrier for the 1400 block of West Ohio Street, 

"I've been calling to say, 'Are we ever going to get a real mail person?'" Markese said.

Markese said she doesn't believe the late or missing deliveries are the fault of the carriers.

"I feel bad for them. Management tells them how to do their job but management isn't out there doing their job, they are not walking the streets for them," Markese said of the carriers.

Reynolds, the postal service spokesman, said the lack of a regularly-assigned individual to the route "does happen from time to time across the city."

"Carriers have the opportunity to bid on other routes and sometimes the route is vacant until someone else either bids or is assigned to it," Reynolds said.