STUYVESANT TOWN — Thanks to the urging of Community Board 6, local residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions concerning the relocation of the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office at an upcoming town hall meeting.
The U.S. Postal Service is planning to close the Peter Stuyvesant branch by February 2014, and while the agency scours nearby real estate for a suitable space to relocate, the plan will be going through a community comment period until May 7, said Sandro Sherrod, chairman of Board 6.
Joseph Mulvy, a representative of USPS who will be attending the meeting on Apr. 22, announced that the post office, located at 432 E. 14th St., would be relocating during a recent Manhattan Borough board meeting, Sherrod said.
"There are some guidelines to allow for a comment period," he explained. "Quite frankly, in front of the borough meeting, [Mulvy] said that he felt that it was adequate public notice.
"We kind of made it clear, that we needed him to come to either a section or a full board meeting so that people in our area could learn more about it. We had to push a little bit," he added.
Although details of the plan are still uncertain, the post office will most likely transfer its carrier services to the 23rd Street Post Office permanently. It will be looking for a smaller, 5,000-square-foot space to move its retail section into, said Sherrod.
"The gentleman from the post office has told us that they were unable to secure a renewal of its lease," he said. "The intent was to find a smaller location just for retail, and they're not going to combine them [with carrier services.]"
The mail carriers who currently work out of the Peter Stuyvesant Post office are also expected to transfer to the 23rd Street post office, located 149 E. 23rd St., he noted.
Residents of Stuyvesant Town have long complained about the poor customer service at the Peter Stuyvesant post office, said Susan Steinberg, chair of the Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town Tenants Association.
"It's true that it's been a source of frustration for many," said Steinberg. "I'm not sure if the problem is mismanagement, not enough staff, or a particular laid-back approach to their work, but it's just inefficient in general."
Despite complaints, however, Stuyvesant Town residents, including many seniors, have come to rely on the close proximity of the post office to the complex, and would lament the move, said Steinberg.
"Moving it would be a terrible disservice. The 10009 zip code that the post office serves goes all the way down to Houston Street, and moving it would make a real hole for us in Stuyvesant Town and the Lower East Side," Steinberg said.
"Can you imagine, in the snow and rain, what it would be like to schlep out to [the new location]? We are against it, and want to encourage people to please attend the meeting and comment."
The Town Hall meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 22 at the Campos Plaza Community Center gym, located at 611 E. 13th St. Written comments may also be submitted to 2 Congress St., Rm 8, Milford, Mass., 01757 by the May 7 deadline.