Thursday, July 21, 2016

Schumer wants Prattsburgh post office issues fixed

U.S Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the U.S Postal Service (USPS) to work to immediately establish a centrally-located, temporary post office in the Town of Prattsburgh in Steuben County, as well as work to quickly establish a new, permanent facility in the town center to replace the current one. Schumer explained that the Main Street post office in the town was recently closed due to safety concerns. But in that aftermath, the postal operations for the town were moved nine miles outside of Prattsburgh to the Town of Pulteney, which is a more rural location with reduced hours of operation. Due to the lack of public transportation options in the region and a large elderly population, it is challenging and inconvenient for Prattsburgh residents, as well as local businesses that need to utilize mail services, to reach this new site. Schumer said this has led to confusion and frustration within the community. Schumer therefore said the USPS should move quickly to do right by the citizens of Prattsburgh.
“The indefinite closure of the Prattsburgh post office has put a serious strain on the town’s residents and businesses who rely on this office every day. To make matters worse, those who cannot drive or visit the temporary post office outside of the Town of Prattsburgh during its significantly limited hours are left confused and frustrated. We need to do right by the citizens of Prattsburgh in the wake of this abrupt closure due to a circumstance completely out of their control,” saidSchumer. “That’s why I am calling on the USPS to work with Prattsburgh officials and the local community to immediately open a temporary postal operation within the Town of Prattsburgh, and work to quickly establish a new, centrally located permanent facility to replace the former post office. We’ve got to push the envelope to ensure that Prattsburgh residents and businesses are not overlooked.”
“Even though we are a small town, the Prattsburgh post office is heavily used by residents and businesses alike whom generate a high volume of mail traffic. The closure of our post office has created a great deal of difficulty for many in our town, and I have heard their concerns. Senator Schumer has heard those concerns, too, and he has gone to bat for us,” said Leonard McConnell, Town of Prattsburgh Supervisor.
Schumer explained that the Prattsburgh Post Office was officially closed recently after being deemed unsafe by the local code office. Following the closure, postal operations were moved nine miles away to a post office in the Town of Pulteney. Schumer explained that this is a great distance for a rural community, as there is no public transportation system for the many elderly residents of the town to utilize. In addition, the former Prattsburgh facility operated on a standard full schedule, while the Pulteney post office is only open for short intervals throughout the week. Schumer said this not only further decreases access for many Prattsburgh residents but leads to confusion and frustration among residents.
Despite this closure and temporary operations move, the USPS has offered no concrete plan or timeline to set up a new permanent post office and thus far has not brought in a temporary mobile unit to serve Prattsburgh in the interim. Schumer is therefore going to bat for Prattsburgh residents and launching a two-pronged push to ensure services are accessible to all those residents and businesses who need them. The town of Prattsburgh, population 2,064, generates significantly more mail than the Town of Pulteney, population 1,406.
Schumer explained that the Town Supervisor in Prattsburgh has identified suitable buildings adjacent to the previous location that could very quickly be used to house a new post office. However, USPS approval is needed to move forward. Therefore, Schumer is urging the USPS to work quickly to set up a temporary office within the Town of Prattsburgh as well as work with the local community to establish a plan for opening a new office in the town.